3 brand campaigns you’ll wish you came up with

European Wax Center

It’s generally a good idea to be sceptical of everyone and everything on April 1st. Pranksters are all around, from family and friends to colleagues and even brands. Nobody can be trusted…

Or can they?

While most brands stuck to traditional trickster ways this April Fools’ Day, beauty lifestyle brand European Wax Center threw a curveball into the mix, launching into the next phase of its #AXTHEPINKTAX campaign and delivering some very real home truths.

The long-running initiative aims to open our eyes to the reality of The Pink Tax, which is costing the average female an extra $1,351 per year in everyday purchases.

Why? Literally just for being a woman.

It’s so stupid you probably wish it was a joke – which is why April Fools’ Day was a perfectly ironic date to hammer home that it’s actually a sad reality. Funnily enough, early April also marks the first day of the new financial year (at least in the UK), making the messaging even more apt.

To inform and educate its audience, European Wax Center launched a new website, packed with information about the price differences on products that are, let’s face it, all made of the same stuff, but cost women more. Painkillers, jeans, deodorant – you name it, women probably pay a premium (eye roll).

The website also features a Pink Tax calculator where you can find out just how much the tax has cost you to date. Use it with caution… the results are pretty scary.

Alongside that, the brand released loads of attention-grabbing social media content, held live panels and networking events, and joined forces with influencers, including empowering feminists.

Customers who visit one of its 700 stores are also surrounded by bold and informative graphics.

It’s great to see a brand fully commit to a cause like this. This is not just a quick mention to ride on the coattails of something people feel strongly about – this is being proactive and involved. This is a level of support that could make a real difference.

European Wax Center is additionally giving fans a voice with a call to #claimyourworth. Its offering downloadable graphics – from e-cards to posters – which all include the #AXTHEPINKTAX hashtag. It’s also asking followers to post side-by-side price comparisons on social.

 

Diesel

Another brand impressing on the counterintuitive campaign front is Diesel.

While many businesses are still investing heavily in influencer marketing, and it seems like 90% of Instagram posts are labelled #ad, Diesel is taking a step in the opposite direction.

The company wants us all to stop idolising influencers and aspire to #BeAFollower instead.

Diesel suggests the key to Successful Living (the brand’s slogan) is enjoying the simple life – one that’s not entirely focused on having the latest, well, everything.

Going directly against one of today’s biggest marketing trends, the campaign material highlights the darker side of being an influencer – unenviable traits such as being glued to the phone, having to constantly care what others think of you, and not being able to tuck into a meal without taking the perfect photo first.

There’s noticeably no call to shop Diesel’s latest range – in fact the campaign is almost doing the opposite by asking people to stop following trends and trying to impress with “must have” items.

It may be a bold move but it’s definitely one that makes Diesel stand out from the crowd in a positive way.

Our favourite part is that Diesel has chosen actual influencers to convince us all to stop caring about influencers… make of that what you will.

With social media platforms now saturated with influencer content, it’s no wonder consumers are becoming sceptical about how trustworthy influencers really are.

There’s no doubt influencers are still incredibly powerful, but it’s increasingly common for brands to switch things up – e.g. using micro-influencers with smaller but more engaged communities. There seems to be a growing recognition that people are seeking authenticity over product recommendations made purely for profit. Diesel seems to be taking this to extremes by turning users against the industry as a whole.

 

Puma

I don’t know about you but I’ve never looked at a QR code and immediately wondered why the fashion world wasn’t going crazy for it yet.

Having said that, Puma has done a pretty good job with its new LQD CELL Origin AR sneakers, which have a QR code literally woven into the design. They don’t look too bad. At least not from a distance.

But the benefits go way beyond appearance anyway. After downloading a dedicated app, users can scan the shoes to activate a range of AR features.

This includes special filters (one will make the sneakers appear to burst into flames) and even an interactive mobile game, LQD Dash. Players are challenged to avoid digital objects as they walk. Sounds like an accident waiting to happen if you ask me.

Photo: Fashion United

Fans can also use the app to check out an animated deconstruction of the shoe, displayed layer by layer.

By gamifying its products, Puma aims to capitalise on a huge current trend and get an edge on competitors. I’ve got to be honest, I’m not yet 100% convinced my sneakers need to come to life. But maybe I’m just getting old. I can see these being really popular with kids/teens.

Also, we need to remember the potential here. AR filters, shoe demos and fun games could easily evolve into more fitness/activity related features, which would definitely appeal to an older demographic.