“Don’t let what you see be your limit.”
id8 is thrilled to announce that it has won a Silver Award in the Integrated Campaign-B2C category in the 2023 Davey Awards. The winning entry was the WildSpark Launch Campaign for the client Reflective Apparel.
To mark the occasion, we talked to Jess Gerjets, id8’s Vice President of Creative (and Creative Lead on the project), about what it takes to build an award-winning campaign.
Q: First of all, what is WildSpark and how did this collaboration between id8 and Reflective Apparel come to be?
Jess: WildSpark is a product line that Reflective Apparel sells, and since we were already doing work with them, we understood their messaging and their position in the market. It was a natural progression for them to work with us as they were introducing WildSpark as a business-to-consumer brand, versus their traditional model of business-to-business. The messaging between the two is similar because everything that Reflective Apparel does focuses on the safety of people, be it a construction crew or somebody out running at night.
Q: Would you say that the transition from B2B to B2C was the biggest challenge in executing this campaign?
Jess: For Reflective Apparel, yes. Until the introduction of WildSpark, their market focus was predominantly business-to-business. They had never done business-to-consumer marketing before, so they were really looking to us to help guide them and provide our best recommendations on how to target this audience through paid media, social media, PR – everything, really.
The primary go-to-market strategy we created centered on video ads because video is where we can highlight the day-to-night qualities that make the product special. The key takeaway is that this product is designed for your safety at night, but it looks good during the day, too. Rather than wearing something like a reflective vest that you might see on a construction site, you can be much more comfortable with a garment that has features both suited for activity and also to keep you visible at night.
Q: Would you say the key objective for this campaign was awareness, sales, both, or something else?
Jess: Definitely both. Brand awareness was important because it’s a new brand.
They fully launched this year with a website and the logo that we created. At the same time, we needed to provide education for consumers about their safety at night. A lot of people think a headlamp or just carrying a flashlight is going to keep them safe, but those things are more for the people using them to be able to see what’s ahead of them. They don’t offer drivers much visibility into recognizing there is a person, and so they are at risk of not being seen. The full-body reflectivity of the WildSpark shirts was one of the key attributes we focused on.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the limitations you had and the challenges you faced with the campaign?
Jess: Well, for a brand launch, creating the amount of assets needed quickly is a huge undertaking – not only for the team but also financially. We needed to be smart with our budget and figure out the best way to use a limited number of assets in a lot of different ways.
During the day, the shirt is really nice looking, but the “aha” moment is at night when it lights up and it has that full-body reflectivity, so we focused on that.
We did our research and tried to figure out who would be most likely to buy this product. Sometimes you can do all the research and lay all the groundwork, but when you take it to market, the people you thought were going to buy it don’t. So, we wanted to make sure we could pivot quickly if we needed to. It just really pushes the creative team to think outside the box on how they can use what they have to bring creative solutions that help the client drive revenue.
Q: You mentioned that you did your research but your target market turned out to be slightly different than you thought it would be. Can you talk a little bit about that and how you addressed it?
Jess: When we first were talking with the client about the WildSpark brand, they were thinking it was for people like trail runners – real “outdoors people.” But when you look at the product, you need light to make it work. So, it didn’t make sense to position it as a product for someone who goes hiking or likes to fish. Yes, it’s comfortable enough for those applications, but at the end of the day, it’s the people who are out on the streets running, cycling – even walking with their kids or walking their dog – those are the people who are at risk, and these shirts can solve a problem for them.
So, we went to the client and said, “Hey, you know, we’ve got to think about the fact that this shirt needs light. And that’s the only way it’s going to work.” And that one moment changed the whole trajectory of how we were thinking about things because it’s not really for the outdoorsy person, which was the original intent of the project product. It’s more for the urban or suburban people – the everyday person who’s out there trying to be a better version of themselves.
Q: Which part of the campaign stands out as being particularly successful to you?
Jess: Definitely the video. Once we launched that video, it was like night and day in the stats. The video helped people to immediately see the benefits of the product. The messaging we had was still around being safe, but it also brought forth that idea of being wild, being fun. So “be seen, be safe, and don’t limit yourself” is the core idea, the video really drove that home in a lot of different ways.
Q: What advice would you give to others who are trying to pull something like this off and execute an impactful marketing campaign?
Jess: I’d say don’t let what you see be your limit. If we thought, “Oh, we only have pictures,” we wouldn’t have been as successful. Instead, we didn’t feel limited by what was in front of us. It was an opportunity to challenge ourselves, think about it in a different way and push ourselves to another level of creativity.
Q: Finally, tell us a little bit about what winning this award means to id8.
Jess: It’s always been in the back of our mind that we wanted to win a Davey, so we actually made that a goal for this year. Serving our clients is always the primary goal. If we also happen to win an award, great! We challenged ourselves and achieved both at the same time.
It was especially cool to accomplish our goal on such a fun project and a great reminder that if you’re constantly challenging yourself and taking risks, you’re doing the right thing.