Inspiring to Try and Buy: Custom Video For Women

You might ask: so what does a sports-obsessed, stocky, bald man know about targeting women? OK, that's fair — but as it turns out, quite a bit. Since joining the Levi's team here at OMD to lead digital efforts, never have I discussed, thought about, or analyzed what truly gets women excited about trying and buying a product more in my life. While tried-and-true digital executions (like takeovers) certainly help to move the needle, perhaps one particular medium takes the cake: video. So what is it about sight, sound, and motion that does the trick — why is video so important to help achieve our goals? Three major reasons come to mind: legitimacy, exhibited benefit, and interactivity. And all of this synergizes for one amazing outcome for women: inspiration.

Let's start with legitimacy. It's an age-old marketing approach to use celebrity endorsements. But in today's digital age, it isn't enough for a detached celebrity to simply read from a teleprompter and tell women to go buy Levi's jeans. So when we don't have seven-figure budgets to get Jessica Alba into a pair of sexy skinnies, how can we appeal to women but still take an endorsement-like approach? Such are the wonders of digital media. With publishers like POPSUGAR, advertisers have the ability to tap into editors who are tantamount to celebrities for users — they consume content from these folks every day, they listen to what they have to say, they interact with them on social media, and they often aspire to be like them. But just paying an editor to shoot a commercial for Levi's isn't enough — users are smart and can sniff out bogus enthusiasm with ease. As such, true authenticity is key; it's not enough that these female editors like Levi's; it's that they love Levi's and have been wearing them for years. Their voices add legitimacy to our campaign that's real, this shines through on camera, and women will listen.

So once women are listening, what to do? We have seen time and again in our research that women want to touch and feel our denim — and, of course, try it on. And this is one of the biggest hurdles about selling denim to women through digital channels: intangibility. So how to get over this obstacle? We must exhibit our product benefit in a clear and concise manner (what we call "snackable" content) — and, undoubtedly, video helps us to do this most effectively. Going back to our editors, it's not enough for them to just say Levi's makes their butt look great — rather, we have to actually show it. It's not enough to just say you can wear Levi's in any situation; we have to show it. And for a new product, it's about truly showcasing what's fresh and why the product was introduced. Hopefully this leaves women wanting more . . .

And when women want more, then it's time to push the boundaries of digital capabilities. Perhaps one of the most exciting new areas within digital media is the rapidly evolving world of shoppable video. While we haven't seen particularly stellar lower-funnel numbers from these executions (i.e., return on ad spend), that isn't necessarily the point — rather, users are still learning the behavior of being able to shop through video, and it's as much about giving them the option to learn more as it is about actually driving sales. So when women are listening to people they trust and have seen the true benefit of a product, it's essential to capitalize on their interest right then and there. "Oh, I love the way those Levi's fit my favorite POPSUGAR editor — do they come in my size?" Simple: "Click or tap on the video right now to find out." Partners like Innovid are making it easier than ever to build in instantaneous shoppable functionality across devices and screens and capture women in the shopping mindset.

We've legitimized the product by aligning with a voice women trust; we've shown the product benefit, despite women not being able to actually hold the product; and we've given women the option to easily learn more through interactivity. Hopefully this all ladders up to our end goal: inspiration. We aren't just looking to sell jeans; we want to truly inspire women, which will lead to not only sales, but hopefully product evangelism and a true long-term love for our brand. And, unquestionably, video plays a crucial role in achieving this result.