Call them “Thelma & Louise” for Millennials.
In its fall 2016 advertising campaign, launching on Thursday, Bebe is spinning a narrative dubbed “fall escape” with two girlfriends who are traveling in a convertible from the city to a hilltop hideaway for a weekend getaway. Featuring a blonde and a brunette, the images provide a look at the journey — and the trends running through the fall collection, including neutral tints, abstract animal prints and dark flowers. Moreover, apt for a retailer known for its party looks, the campaign documents the women’s preparations for a night out.
“The mood is flirty, carefree and natural,” said Naomi Joh, Bebe’s senior creative director, adding that the Brisbane, Calif.-based retailer went for a feel that is “accessible while maintaining an aspirational lifestyle.”
Bebe hasn’t confirmed its full media buy for its print and digital campaign yet. Thus far, it’s decided to let readers sift through the September issues of Elle and InStyle to find the print ads. It is also lining up billboards and placards on mass transit in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas. The company plans to activate a digital strategy in the end of September. Those partners are still being negotiated, but a spokeswoman described the plan as “aggressive.”
An escape is possibly a suitable theme for the women’s fashion retailer, which is overcoming its own financial travails exacerbated by widening losses on falling revenue. This fall, as it releases the new ads, the 40-year-old company plans to freshen its stock with capsule collections created in collaboration with other designers such as Naven’s Kym and Alexis McClay. The purpose of this initiative is to enhance the shopping experience in Bebe’s 146 full-priced stores and on its web site with a broader range of clothing that can appeal to a sophisticated clientele.