Using Instagram Stories for a soap opera #MontageMashup

Ted Baker Instagram Stories soap opera

Hello… welcome to our latest #MontageMashup where each week we bring you the latest news and views from across the marketing industry. In this week’s mashup, we take a look at Ted Baker’s new Instagram Stories soap opera, M&S launching mental health drop-in cafes, Amazon’s ‘Outfit Compare’ and much more! So, let’s get started…

Ted Baker’s Instagram Stories soap opera

Clothing retailer, Ted Baker has announced a new episodic campaign which will run on Instagram Stories. The campaign, titled ‘Keeping up with the Bakers’ focuses on a fictional family who move into Tailor’s Lane, a fictional suburb which is hiding dark secrets… The new campaign’s main short film is also fully shoppable. The brand has said Instagram Stories will be used as a ‘gossip channel’ with daily episodic content revealing more about the different Baker family members. People are also able to click through a selection of five different ‘TV channels’ in Stories. Craig Smith, global brand communication director at Ted Baker has said that each of the campaigns advertising channels will have original content to avoid replication and that Instagram Stories was chosen over Snapchat because of a matter of functionality. Alongside the social content, Ted Baker is also using in-store activation with VR, where a 360-degree film is to be distributed in-store via 20,000 Google Cardboard headsets. The brand is also introducing an interactive window display at certain locations which allow passers-by to place their hands on the window which triggers a camera which in turn places the users beside the Baker characters.

We love the sound of this campaign and will definitely be checking out the Instagram Stories and the Baker family.

M&S mental health drop-ins

Marks and Spencer logoIn a recent #MontageMashup we wrote about how Marks and Spencer had been voted the top brand amongst women in the UK. Well now, the retailer has announced plans to host mental health drop-ins in its store cafes. The drop-ins are all part of its initiative designed to help soothe stressed shoppers. The ‘Frazzled Cafe’ project is fronted by comedian and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax and the sessions will be hosted by trained volunteers in restaurants that have closed for the day. Initially, the drop-ins will run fortnightly in 11 stores, with more locations to be added in the coming months. M&S has said the drop-ins provide a space “where people can talk openly with others who understand how they are feeling,” whilst Wax said, “we live in a time where to have a life crammed to the hilt is considered a success story.” The economic cost of mental health problems in the UK is estimated at roughly £105bn a year, with approximately 4m prescriptions for antidepressants written annually. That’s why we really like this idea from M&S, getting people away from their phones and computers and actually talking to people about any issues they have can only be a good thing.

Alexa coming to Apple’s iPhones

Amazon EchoFor the first time, Amazon has brought its voice assistant Alexa to iPhones. This introduction enables Amazon’s app users to play music, search for information or check the weather without lifting a finger. The app features a microphone icon at the top of the screen which is used to activate Alexa where users can ask it almost anything and also control connected devices. Currently, this is only available to users in the USA and it cannot be used as a direct replacement to Apple’s Siri voice assistant but it would seem only a matter of time before it is available to users in the UK.

Image CC: Rick Turoczy

Amazon’s Outfit Compare

Amazon has released a new service exclusively for Prime members. This new service is called ‘Outfit Compare‘ and allows users to compare two different outfits and get almost instant feedback from real stylists with experience in retail and the fashion industry. Users simply upload an image of themselves wearing each outfit and the stylists will give their feedback based on their fit, how the colours complement you and what’s on trend. Any photos uploaded will only be seen by Amazon staff, and the company also states that the photos can be deleted within the Outfit Compare experience which will remove them from the app and any copies associated with your Amazon account. The three responses that users could receive are ‘Definitely pick this one!’, ‘We like this better’ and ‘It was a close call.’ How Amazon plans to use this service to boost sales is not immediately apparent, however, there is a chance that it will begin to suggest other similar products based on images that users are submitting. Or from a simple point of view, as this is only available to Prime members, it could be a ploy to drive more people to sign up to the service!

What do you think about Outfit Compare? Would you use it or if not why not? Let us know below!

Seedball wins Best New Retail Product Growing award

Congratulations to Seedball for winning ‘Best New Retail Product Growing’ in the 2017 Horticulture Week Garden Retail Awards. Seedball, who has worked alongside our client Conservation Grade, provide a simple way for growing wild flowers from seed and also encourage conservation of pollinators. There is a large social media following behind campaigns such as #nomow, which encourages councils to grow wild flowers on road verges instead of mown grass, and the #peatfree pledge which has gained support from Ecotricity and Plantlife. Seedball products offer people a reason to grow wild flowers in a simple manner, so much so that our creative director scattered some in her garden over the weekend!

And finally…

Comic Relief swear jar appWe’re ending this week on a fun charitable note, with the launch of Comic Relief’s digital swear jar. This digital swear jar comes in the form of a voice recognition mobile app which uses Google’s latest technology to recognise when a person or group swears. There are 42 swear words noted in the app and each time one is heard in a conversation, 20p will be donated to Comic Relief. The app could be good fun for groups of friends to identify who is the most foul-mouthed out of the group, whilst also doing good by donating money to the charity. There is even a ‘wall of shame’ built into the app to allow users compare themselves against others. We think this is such a simple and light-hearted way of increasing donations for very serious and important causes. You can download the app here for iOS or Android.

Don’t forget to check out next week’s #MontageMashup right here on the blog!

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About the author

Nick Hill

Nick is our Senior Digital Marketing Executive. He is a Marketing Masters graduate with one of the most analytical minds we know! He’s a pro at content review and discoverability analysis, implementing Amazon content and platform marketing internationally for brands like Brabantia and Sphero. Nick helps clients take advantage of the 248m active customers worldwide on Amazon by optimising content to be discoverable and convert sales.