Cannes Lions

Unforgettable Denim

PUBLICIS ITALY, Milan / DIESEL / 2021

Case Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Diesel is the very definition of a culture brand. Its denim has been a part of popular culture since its inception. A garment so functional that it has been in some of our most unforgettable social experiences. But what do you do when the entire world takes a break? Suddenly, we are all at home in lockdown, wearing sweatpants and watching how our plans get canceled one by one. No wonder the Denim industry fell 19%. Naturally, buying expensive clothing wasn't on anyone's schedule. So, how to sell pricey Italian denim in the year of sweatpants?

Idea

While everyone was complaining about 2020, Diesel saw an opportunity and created Unforgettable Denim. True to its way of seeing the world from a less serious perspective, Diesel gave a friendly nod to 2020's canceled plans while positioning their durable denim as that unforgettable piece of the most forgettable year. Denim gets better with experience and becomes a sort of wearable record of the times you've had. In what has been a generation-defining year, DIESEL turned its latest Denim collection into a customization experience, inviting people—the world over—to celebrate what they did not do. When life gives you canceled plans, you can turn them into pants.

Strategy

What was our audience, the Gen Z doing during the pandemic? For sure, buying premium denim was NOT a priority in the year of sweatpants and zoom calls. Through social listening, we uncovered a new emergent subculture that made light of a failed year.

What the bountitude of memes revealed was that culture hadn't disappeared altogether. It simply took another form.

As bad as 2020 has been, it was undeniably one that we would remember for a very long time. And this is where we found a role for Diesel.

The only way to position the Diesel denim was as that long term pair of jeans, which through creases and fades, ultimately becomes a wearable record of all the times we've experienced.

And in a year with not much going on, the Diesel denim would become a cheerful souvenir of the year itself: the infamous yet truly unforgettable 2020.

Execution

To launch Unforgettable Denim, Diesel partnered with various celebrities and influencers, including Evan Mock, Julia Fox, Donte Colley, and many others. Each of them stamped its own 2020 canceled plan on their unique Denim leather tag, introducing the collection on their social channels with online content that joyfully and ironically celebrates what they didn't do in 2020. And it didn't stop there: we also partnered with different major canceled events, like UNTOLD Festival, one of the most renowned music festivals in the world, to create a series of limited-edition denim with their name on them. Since stores were closed for most of the year, the focus of the campaign was on e-commerce. So, to make Unforgettable Denim even more relatable, Diesel's e-commerce became a customization experience where people all over the world could personalize their unique pair of jeans with the plan that 2020 canceled.

Outcome

Denim sales rose 49% compared to the previous year, seeing an impact on total sales marked by a 42% increase in overall sales during the campaign. The positive trend also maintained after the campaign ended. While everything else was down vs 2019

These results were achieved in the worst year for fashion in recent history, with overall global sales of premium denim plummeting -19.4% vs 2019, the biggest fall in recent years. Levi's reported a 62% drop in its global revenue and said it would slash about 50% of its workforce. Our media investment was down versus last year. Distribution decreased by almost 60%, with physical stores closed for most of the year.

Our campaign travelled organically worldwide and achieved earned media reach of over 700k worth, most coming from social. Diesel e-commerce registered more than 300,000 visits during the campaign period. 82.7% were new visitors.

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