The online retailer, which is owned by Shop Direct Group, will launch the first campaign starring Vorderman (52) on 1 March using the strapline “Love this Little Number” to reference her past fame fronting numbers and word gameshow Countdown. The £2.2m spring 2013 campaign also includes print and online activity.
Retail director at Isme.com, Jon Owen, says the brand’s internal research revealed it was not appealing to the more “aspirational fashion” end of the target market and needed to present a more “glamourous” side to its brand.
Vorderman was selected because she topped a poll of 1,000 Isme customers’ preferred role models in terms of confidence, glamour and sense of style. She will work alongside current ambassador Lynda Bellingham, to reflect different aspects of the brand.
Owen adds, because Isme was only launched in 2011, it doesn’t have any long-term brand legacy, which means that using celebrities provides a “short-cut” to brand awareness and getting its message out.
He says: “The big challenge [as a new online only brand] is to get customers to know and remember that we’re here, so for us having a brand ambassador work really well when they are really in tune with the brand they stand for. Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby do that for [sister brand] Very.co.uk, and Carol is aspirationally the same as what we want to stand for and a symbol of the style we’re all about.”
The partnership was launched at a “Fashion Week for the over 50s” event timed to coincide with London Fashion Week.
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