Mudd took a road trip to Music City with digital influencers Nash Grier, Lauren Riihimaki and Jordyn Jones for its spring ad campaign.
With stops at Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Robert’s Western World and other watering holes in Nashville, the juniors denim brand is banking on the trio to corral their 38 million followers on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to check out behind-the-scenes footage from a marketing initiative, dubbed “Destination Country Music.” More importantly, the line owned by Iconix Brand Group wants to sell jeans at Kohl’s to Millennial and Gen Z customers between the ages of 13 and 24.
“Nash, Lauren and Jordyn — all powerhouses in the digital space — are the perfect partners as Mudd strives to connect with our fans on the social platforms where they live” said Jamie Cygielman, Iconix’s chief marketing officer.
Even though it doesn’t produce any men’s clothing, Mudd recognizes value in tapping Grier, who alone has attracted 9.9 million followers on Instagram, to appeal to shoppers. In the ads, lit by the lights of a cream-colored muscle car and chilling on a club stage in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, he shares prominence with Jones and Riihimaki (and their respective social media handles, of course). The 19-year-old has found a niche in denim ads; he also appears in a video for Tommy Hilfiger’s jeans line.
“Eighty percent of his audience is female,” said Preeti Singh, senior director of women’s marketing at Iconix. “They follow him. They’re fanatics. They go to meet-and-greets. They listen to what he has to say in an organic way.”
He also continues the lineage established by Sammy Wilkinson, Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky, who played a role in Mudd’s marketing push in 2015. Capitalizing on Grier’s heartthrob status, the company is launching a Valentine’s Day sweepstake on Feb. 1. The lucky girl will be able to chat on the phone with him.
Beyond the telephone, Mudd is focusing on a print buy in Teen Vogue’s quarterly issue out in March, as well as digital plays on Snapchat and Instagram.
Influencers are pervading promotions from denim brands. DL1961 checked most of the criteria for how to be kitschy and culturally relevant in its ads unveiled Jan. 25. Sofia Richie, Jasmine Sanders and Nathaniel Dam meandered around New York’s Chinatown in looks styled by Matthew Henson, who also finesses A$AP Rocky’s fashion, and shot by Ryan Kibler, who has a budding career photographing street-style stars and campaigns for Topman and Public School.
Like many fashion companies marketing to a customer whose savviness belies her years, Singh said the question posed is: “How do we organically and authentically integrate the product?”
When it comes to youths, she said, “they are much more aware when something is an endorsement than when something is organic.”