It’s Not Marketing, It’s a Movement

This week I have to point out another great marketing campaign. No. An excellent marketing campaign.

This campaign is one that has all the right elements: social media, compelling video, a message that enters an existing conversation, and then sparks new discussion. It’s got it all.

Plus-size clothing retailer Lane Bryant launched a new campaign last week, #ImNoAngel. It’s a massive effort to bring attention to its intimate apparel line, Cacique. But perhaps more important, marketers at Lane Bryant are capitalizing on a conversation that exploded last November which centered on a major messaging snafu by sexy lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret suffered major backlash when it launched a campaign to promote the brand’s Body by Victoria bras. The error, however, came when Victoria’s Secret marketers dubbed the campaign “The Perfect Body” and coupled an image featuring a group of models—all similarly tall, svelte—with the caption, “The Perfect ‘Body'” and branded it on social media with hashtag #IAmPerfect.

The gaffe sparked major criticism and prompted Victoria’s Secret to later issue an apology.

In this new campaign, Lane Bryant has released ad creative—photos, videos, and the hashtag #ImNoAngel—that rides the wave of a growing number of consumers’ intolerance for traditional, narrow stereotypes, body images, and roles of women.

Take a look at this video:

Lane Bryant is doing more than promoting a lingerie line. Marketers are tapping into a zeitgeist, a call for change, an existing movement. They’re listening to what shoppers are saying that they want from brands—in this case organic, genuine messages that promote self-empowering, positive images to girls, women, and the supportive men in their lives.

Without actually saying it, marketers at Lane Bryant are telling consumers that they get it. The brand is putting its values out for display. For many shoppers this campaign is not about a plus-size lingerie line. It’s about body image acceptance. In fact, women have jumped on the trending hashtag, posting their own photos and declarations with #ImNoAngel. Lane Bryant has created a collective of these images on its site, along with personal stories from the models. This campaign gives people something to believe in and not just another product to buy.

Touché, Lane Bryant. Touché.

Interestingly, the campaign also holds Lane Bryant to a higher standard as critics of the campaign remind the brand not to err the other way by promoting only plus-size models, rather than a campaign that’s all inclusive.

Including my own reaction from this weekend, here’s a look at that social media fodder—some positive; some critical. All poignant and honest.

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