Speaking today (June 16) at the Youth Truth event held by TV marketing trade body Thinkbox, the marketing trade body for the television industry, Pirrie, who has orchestrated campaigns with pop stars such as Rita Ora and model Kate Moss in the past, said that brands can only “truly connect” with 16-24 year olds by putting faith in brand guardians.
She explained: “We’re the leading UK cosmetics brand but to stay there we cannot play it safe.
“I think it’s still tough for a brand’s ego to give up control of their advertising to brand guardians but they must realise ambassadors can give you credibility and wider reach with young consumers that you wouldn’t otherwise generate. Rita Ora can speak to 16-24s better than we can.”
Rimmel has built its youth engagement strategy around vloggers using TV presenter Billie JD Porter to host a social lifestyle channel for the brand on YouTube.
However Pirrie warned that brands will only truly connect with millennials through celebrity partnerships by pushing self-deprecation and personality.
“We did a spoof ad with Kate Moss for Red Nose Day and it was important as it showed consumers that Rimmel can take the mickey out of itself. Celebrities and vloggers are key for association but you have to take a risk and be authentic to truly connect as the vlogger space is so cluttered – only 4% of vlogger content is branded.”
Rimmel’s core audience of 16-to-24-year-olds spends 65% of their video viewing time on TV, in comparison to a UK average of 81%, according to Thinkbox’s ‘Truth About Youth’ study.
But the younger consumer is cross-device savvy with 30% of 16-24 year olds spreading their viewing to tablets and smartphones compared to just 15% of the rest of the nation. Pirrie believes that brands must embrace a cross-channel approach.
She added: “We have adopted a cross-channel approach with VOD, YouTube, social and TV all of massive importance – you can’t just back one more than the other anymore.”
Speaking earlier in the day, Platypus Research’s Karen Chaudhari said the Thinkbox study had found that 9pm is the peak time for brands to connect with 16-24 year olds through TV ads as it is the hour that they most focus on programming.
She said that social media savvy brands should focus their efforts on Facebook and Instagram, with the ease of use and familiarity making them the most popular platforms among 16-24 year olds as “the novelty of Twitter wears off.”