Cannes Lions

#RemakeTheRunway

R/GA, New York / YOUTUBE / 2023

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Overview

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Overview

Background

YouTube Shorts is facing major competition from TikTok, Snap and Instagram Reels when it comes to competing for Gen Z’s time and attention. Our overall marketing goal was to simply make Gen Z feel that YouTube Shorts are fun and interesting. Not so simple, however, is the fact that this audience hates being advertised to.

So, rather than traditional marketing, we centered our campaign around fashion, because it is a huge passion point for Gen Z, but even more than that, our integrated campaign was set to launch during New York Fashion Week, so we’d have to make a pretty big splash to get noticed.

Idea

Once upon a time YouTube disrupted and democratized the exclusive world of celebrity, allowing virtually anyone with a smartphone to become a star. But these days, there are dozens of other players in the midst, from TikTok to Instagram.

So, for the launch of YouTube Shorts, we decided to go back to our roots and democratize another exclusive institution, the world of fashion. To do so, we enlisted top DIY fashion creators to “shop their closets” and create beautiful, upcycled couture. Then, we invited the rest of the Shorts community to join in with “closet creations” of their own.

But to truly disrupt the Fashion world, we showed up in style at New York Fashion Week, complete with window displays of some of our best creations, right there in Soho, along with unmissable billboards all across the city.

Strategy

First and foremost, we needed to make YouTube Shorts relevant to Gen Z, but to do so, we needed to align with something they cared about - fashion.

Gen Z is shifting the concept of identity, and clothes have obviously always been a massive part of identity for every generation. But unlike previous generations, GenZers are keenly aware that fast-fashion is bad for the environment, and the low price tags come at the expense of labor exploitation.

With all of this in mind, we geared up to make a campaign that Gen Z was interested in, focused on sustainable, DIY fashion and how we might make it more accessible, while inspiring others to join in through YouTube Shorts.

Execution

Fashions come and go, but the clothes end up in landfills for decades. So, we encouraged people to go shopping in their closets by partnering with YouTube creators to launch an upcycled fashion collection on YouTube Shorts. Creators with a focus on DIY fashion, Upcycling and Thrifting helped generate content encouraging others to “shop their own closet” and create one-of-a-kind reworked fashion themselves.

Then, we put our creators on center stage at New York Fashion Week with post-worthy window displays and advertising all over the city (as well as on social media), that featured their creations . With everything directing people to our online campaign and the window displays in SoHo. The displays themselves used various textiles and moving parts to attract attention and encapsulate the mood. From the window displays you could find links to the creators’ videos as well as the rest of the #RemakeTheRunway Shorts.

Outcome

The original DIY creator collection (40 videos) had 19.5M views across all social media platforms.

The campaign also led to 3.64K user generated #RemakeTheRunway upcycled video creations.

In total, the campaign resulted in 1B impressions.

Lastly, the campaign gave creators significant exposure, helping to increase their awareness as designers while also boosting the awareness of YouTube Shorts at the same time. Ultimately helping to shift perceptions among Gen Z.

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