Wheels & Dollbaby is a new line in women's fashion being imported from Australia by London-based fashion entrepreneur Robert de Keyser. The company appointed Ian Monk Associates to establish the brand as a must-wear range for 16 to 35-year-olds. Objectives
To persuade fashion, gossip and showbiz journalists and photographers that the clothes were newsworthy as a trend-setting fashion design. To stimulate mass-market print coverage that clearly identified the brand and where it could be bought.
Strategy and Plan
The agency opted for a campaign of celebrity endorsement, brokering deals with a number of tabloid-friendly personalities through their agents or, in some cases, by making direct contact. Among others, Jordan, Sophie Anderton, Cat Deeley, Kerry McFadden, Myleene Klass and Jennifer Ellison agreed to wear Wheels & Dollbaby designs.
Picture desks at national papers and magazines were sent information on the brand and details about each item worn.
The team organised a party at the Embassy Club in London to follow on from a four-hour open afternoon for fashion press at the de Keyser boutique on Old Bond Street. More than 60 fashion and showbiz journalists and photographers were among the 300 guests, along with a number of buyers and retail partners.
Measurement and Evaluation
All the key tabloid sections featured the party, including The Sun's Bizarre page, the Daily Mirror's 3am and the Daily Star's Access All Areas.
They each made reference to the Wheels & Dollbaby brand. The Daily Express, News of the World, The Sunday Telegraph and the Mail On Sunday's Night and Day magazine provided further print coverage, each giving a prominent mention of the brand. Other coverage was achieved in Heat, OK! and the Sunday Mirror's Closer.
Precise Media Monitoring was brought in to measure the weight of the cuttings, rather than measure positive against negative coverage.
Following the campaign, Wheels & Dollbaby UK sales have increased by 30 per cent. An in-store boutique is to open at Harrods to complement the existing offering at Harvey Nichols. Ian Monk Associates has been retained to continue developing the brand, along with other RDK youth fashion labels.
The Sun fashion writer Annie Swain says she was 'suitably impressed by the turnout' at the party. The Sun carried a front-page splash and page-three story with Abi Titmus in branded T-shirt, followed by a full double-page fashion spread because, says Swain, 'we pegged it as the new Juicy Couture tracksuit'.