Forget about overly edited, pre-planned social media content. Bongo’s getting real in hopes of winning over the younger set its brand attracts.
The Iconix Brand Group-owned company enlisted Galore Media Inc. for help pulling off a miniseries launching today on Bongo’s Instagram Stories channel. Instagram recently launched the Snapchat-esque feature that encourages and allows for more relaxed, spur-of-the-moment posts that disappear after 24 hours.
Followers of the Bongo channel will be able to tune in to see, for example, Ava Allan from “Pretty Little Liars” or model Kylie Rae chatting on topics related to favorite shows and movies or tackling themes such as “Real Talk” or “Motivate Monday.”
“It’s not about heavily polished branded content,” said Bongo senior director of creative content Natalie Sarraf. “It’s about sharing real-time, expressive moments.”
The comment acknowledges just how savvy consumers have become in filtering out the more stiff, unnatural marketing efforts of some brands on social media.
“The consumer’s extremely smart and they don’t want to see ads,” Sarraf said. “It’s important to have that element of authenticity. As a brand, we’re striving to connect with them in a real way.”
That’s why the company turned to Galore Media, the digital agency with a reputation for bringing the cool factor — with a firm pulse on Millennials and Gen Z — to brands that need a little push. The New York-based firm is split into two operations. Its namesake is a content company, while Kitten is a mobile creative agency with a roster of about 150 models, artists, photographers, chefs and other influencers. In a nutshell, the company links brands looking to be that oft-used industry buzz word “authentic,” with the influencers who can make their campaigns, events and product launches legitimate in customers’ eyes.
For Galore, the series with Bongo is the first project of the new Kitten Brand Studio, which is specifically focused on helping brands create real-time content.
The Bongo series runs for four weeks with episodes posted daily and will incorporate Bongo’s fall product as well as use some of Galore’s stable of digital influencers.
It’s an interesting time right now, noted Galore cofounder and chief marketing officer Nick Pastula, with a bevy of different formats at the fingertips of marketers, but it’s a matter of knowing how to use each in the right way.
“There’s a real opportunity and it’s the way that people use the platforms to do things that are more quick-hitting and not as long and formulaic,” Pastula said. “And that’s the way people consume and share content as peers. So when you’re doing that as a brand, you want to make that emotional connection.”
Thus, none of the “episodes” for Bongo have been shot. There’s a general calendar — storyboard and basic discussions have been held on episode topics — but the series will be shot live and unfiltered.
For Bongo, which launched in 1982 and is now sold exclusively at Sears, celebrities have been a part of the apparel brand’s past marketing efforts. Its partnership with Galore will then be an exercise in just how successful this marketing channel will be at resonating with its 18- to 24-year-old base.
“We’re always looking to connect with our existing followers and customers,” Sarraf said. “We’re definitely trying to tap into Millennials and Gen Z, who are spending all of their time on Instagram and Snapchat, and create that deeper social experience with them.”