Campaign of the Week

18 October 2022

H&M social ads capture young women’s relationship with their wardrobe 

Fashion retailer crams humour and human truth into 10-second social media ads

In its debut work for fashion retailer H&M, agency Mother London created a campaign that captures the influence of what we wear on how we feel.

In five 10-second spots we see the interplay between young women’s fashion choices and moments in their lives. In one, a girl goes to a university lecture feeling naked without her earrings in, while in another ad we see a girl in an office setting, finding confidence in her choice of blazer.

Launched on 1 September, as the target audience return from summer breaks to school, university or into new jobs, the ​​​​​​​Here For It campaign aims to shine an honest light on how young women feel about fashion during formative experiences in their lives.

The films will be seeded on social, supported by an out-of-home campaign that builds on the Here For It platform: the slogans ‘Here for shoes that make you feel tall’, ‘Here for whatever smart casual means’ and ‘Here for being the party’ are placed over shots of young women wearing H&M outfits in different settings.

‘The relationship between what we wear and how we feel runs deep,’ said Paulina Kårelius, head of customer activation and marketing H&M UK&I, in a press release. ‘We wanted this work to be an honest window into young womanhood. The Here for It platform talks truthfully about young women’s relationship with fashion in all its complexity. Fashion can be the signaller of who we are, and something we want to hide behind. It can be where we find our confidence, and how we find our friends… It can improve how we feel about an entire day, and it can ruin an entire night.’

Throughout the rest of the year, H&M will work with content creators to continue adding to the Here For It platform, to add new and authentic perspectives on fashion that bring the concept to life. ‘We stayed away from showing stereotypical “boss babes” or an overly perfect glossy aesthetic, instead presenting them in a way that was actually relatable and authentic for our audience,’ added Jess Reynolds, creative director at Mother London.

Contagious Insight 

Just right / There is no complex mechanism or hi-tech gimmick here – this social-first campaign is just an excellent example of how to communicate a human insight in a humorous and honest way. The short-form content is tailored for social media, and those 10 seconds convey perfectly the impact our clothing and accessories have on our mood. The spots are tender, truthful and funny, and wouldn’t feel out of place among the kind of entertainment that the target audience is watching on TikTok and Instagram.

By representing an array of common experiences and feelings among young women – going out, not wanting to go out, having nerves at work, dressing for a lecture at university, being complimented on your outfit in the women’s toilets on a night out – the campaign is sure to resonate across the board. It’s not overly sentimental, nor mired in clichés or unfashionable terms (eg, boss babes) that would age the creative; the social and out-of-home ads are relatable, likeable and reassuringly realistic. For a deep dive into why realism resonates with consumers, read our Unvarnished Truths trend here.

Fast fashion feels / Last year we covered a campaign by Uncommon for H&M that similarly recognises the brand’s role in young people’s lives. The One/Second/Suit service offered free suit hire to support young men – for whom buying or renting a suit can be an unaffordable expense – going to job interviews. As well as encouraging trial and generating some goodwill, the idea reflected and reinforced the brand’s positioning as a destination for aspirational young people looking for affordable clothing for every life occasion.

Campaigns like these challenge the negative perceptions people may have of a fast fashion brand like H&M; aligning specific looks and outfits with life occasions imbues them with emotion and significance, and tells the audience that the brand’s clothes aren’t disposable, they’re meaningful parts of key experiences. As a brand of low-cost clothing, this is a clever way to add a layer of value.

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