Debenhams has partnered with Gather.ly, a network of the best emerging UK creative talent in photography, fashion, music, art, production and design, to deliver a new content marketing model. Its initial project revealed today, ‘The Art of Interpretation’, supports Debenhams’ #knowmysize campaign to highlight the retailer’s complimentary bra fit service.
A first for Debenhams - and for the high street - the project challenged five talented illustrators from the Gather.ly collectives to create a design, with the brief being a single line of text - to interpret in any way they wished. The illustrators were not given any information about the campaign or the company involved - with ‘The Art of Interpretation’ being a project to explore what happens when we remove the boundaries normally associated with a brand.
With the department store selling approximately 10,000 bras a week, the #knowmysize campaign has been supported with research which shows 63% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. The mysterious sentences, acting as the brief to ‘The Art of Interpretation’ illustrators, were in fact associated with key signs that a woman is wearing the wrong size bra - from ‘the band is riding up the back’, ‘the cups are rising upwards’, ‘the cups are overflowing’, ‘digging into the shoulders’, and ‘the cups are bumpy’.
The artistic results of the project are to be distributed through the collectives and their audience, Gather.ly’s media partners, as well as brand channels.
Elena Antoniou, Head of PR at Debenhams, said: “The partnership with Gather.ly, supporting our #knowmysize campaign, is a really new approach for us and an exciting one. We are really pleased with the results from the trial so far, and are looking to work with the Gather.ly collectives in our upcoming campaigns this year, ‘Summer Moments’ and ‘21 Years of Designers at Debenhams’, giving us the opportunity to access the collectives’ portfolio featuring the brightest up-and-coming creative talent.
“Creating unique content that influencers, our followers and customers all want to share is a priority for us. Yes, commercial messages need to be communicated but we also need to give customers something back for their attention and loyalty.”
Andy Hewitt, Co-Founder of Gather.ly, said: “We have been blown away by the openness and bravery of brands like Debenhams. There are a lot of companies talking the talk about content marketing, relevance, and social, but Debenhams is walking the walk. Our collectives love working with companies like Debenhams - brands they have grown up with and have been given the freedom to push the boundaries for.”
Gather.ly is initially working with five brands to test and prove this new content marketing model. Debenhams, Canon and three others (to be announced soon) are already on board for the first projects with the UK’s best emerging talent in the creative industries.
Hewitt continues: “Starting in the UK we’re hooking our network up with the most forward-thinking businesses and organisations and offering them the opportunity to team up and create alongside each other, all the while documenting the outcome to inspire others. The approach works because the creatives, brands and Gather.ly are focused only on collaborating to generate content that we all are proud to share - personally and professionally.
“The output from the creative is the innovation of genuine and relevant stories to bring to life a campaign’s hashtag and ambition.”
Some of the freshest illustrators of the moment have taken on the Debenhams’ ‘The Art of Interpretation’ challenge, including Central Saint Martins’ graphic design graduate Jean Jullien, and artist Charlotte Posner, with her highly detailed work having been exhibited internationally in Japan, Hong Kong, New York and Singapore.
To showcase the themes behind ‘The Art of Interpretation’ a short film by Chris Turner has been produced, giving each of the 5 illustrators and Sharon Webb, Debenhams Head of Lingerie, the opportunity to share some insight into the stories behind their design work.
Illustrators involved in ‘The Art of Interpretation’ project, include Jean Jullien, Charlotte Posner, Natalie Lines, Edward Carvalho-Monaghan and Eleanor Rose.
Debenhams Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of 240 stores across 28 countries. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions. In the UK, Debenhams has a top four market share in womenswear and menswear and a top ten share in childrenswear. It leads the market in premium health and beauty. Debenhams is the eleventh biggest UK online retailer by traffic volume and in March 2013 was awarded “International Growth Initiative of the Year” and “The Retail Technology Initiative of the year for Endless Aisle” at the Oracle Retail Week Awards. Debenhams has been investing in British design for 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands. Current designers include Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, FrostFrench, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Jonathan Kelsey, Ben de Lisi, Julien Macdonald, Jane Packer, Jenny Packham, Pearce Fionda, Stephen Jones, Preen, Janet Reger, John Rocha, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Ashley Thomas, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson. Gather.ly A genuine interest network - Gather.ly is a network of the best emerging UK creative talent. A community focused on empowering emerging talent in photography, fashion, music, art, film and design within the UK by removing the barriers between talent and opportunity. The members are constantly creating content which we enable that others and brands will want to participate in and share. WHY IT WORKS: We create content brands and their influencers will want to share. Gather.ly is fast becoming the hub for the most interesting and exceptional people to realise their potential and dream projects. They understand that to enable these they need, and more importantly want, the brands they love to get involved in ways that enable these unique opportunities to happen. We orchestrate it so it works for everyone involved and make it available to all in order to distribute through their personal networks, our media partners or brand channels. For more information on Gather.ly visit see www.gather.ly or email firstname.lastname@example.org / tel. 0208 8193437
Notes to Editors
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