Back in 2017, H&M was faced with a brand reputation crisis. The perception around the brand was that H&M was not inclusive and it disregarded the diverse cultures of South Africa. This resulted in an emotional disconnect with the local and African audience in general which saw stores being forced to close following a backlash from the public.
Faced with the need to launch a winter campaign, H&M tasked us with helping them rebuild brand trust, establish a positive sentiment towards the brand, establish H&M as the number one fashion destination in the South African market, and helping H&M grow a network of new stores with strong brand equity behind them.
Own Your Slay. Wear Your Armour. We developed an integrated marketing campaign born out of a powerful message: Women are coming together and acknowledging each other’s slay. In this case, the word takes on the pertinent message of recognising that women have many sides and every one should be embraced equally with love.
This campaign was rolled out on digital platforms, social media, in-store and TV, driving more consumers in store. We successfully managed to turn the negative sentiment that South Africa had towards the H&M brand into a positive one by localising the content to talk to our South African market. This was achieved by using real South African women in our communication, showcasing that H&M is a brand that truly understands the modern South African woman.
Since then the store presence significantly increased after the campaign ran. The campaign was so successful, Avatar was invited to H&M’s global headquarters in Sweden to conduct an African consumer emotion workshop and share insights on diversity with their global marketing team.
increase in H&M store presence in South Africa