How swimwear brand Andie is mixing influencer marketing and out-of-home advertising

Its latest campaign features Demi Moore and her three daughters on a massive billboard.
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· 4 min read

Marketers seem to agree on one thing: If you build it, they will take pictures of it and (maybe) tag and follow your brand on Instagram.

Outdoor installations can spur user-generated content on social media if they’re eye-catching enough; a 2017 Nielsen survey found that one in four adults had posted something on Instagram after seeing an out-of-home (OOH) ad. Brands like Adidas and Glossier have recently rolled out OOH campaigns that were expressly made for social sharing.

Swimwear company Andie dove deeper (no pun intended) into that insight this summer. In July, the DTC bathing suit brand put up a billboard on Beverly Hills’s Sunset Boulevard of broken dreams. Featuring Demi Moore and her three daughters—Rumer, Tallulah, and Scout, the billboard and its coinciding social campaign fueled a boom for Andie’s Instagram account.

Celebrities: they’re just like us (but with better Instagram followings)

Andie founder and CEO Melanie Travis told Marketing Brew the billboard was partly created to boost Andie’s Instagram following. She realized featuring a celebrity—rather than less recognizable models—on the billboard could help.

That insight came after a different OOH campaign Andie ran a few years ago—one that starred models. Travis wondered whether the results would’ve been better if a more famous face were involved.

She told us the latest billboard has led to “a lot of Demi’s celebrity friends snapping photos, sharing them on Instagram, and tagging Andie.” For instance, Moore’s friends Jamie Lee Curtis (who has 3.3 million IG followers) and Melanie Griffith (532K followers) did just that when the billboard went up.

But Travis also said those Instagram posts from Moore’s famous friends weren't exactly a drive-by coincidence. “When we work with a celebrity, whether it's Claire Holt or Demi Moore, we always incorporate a gifting strategy as well. So when their campaign is going to launch, we ask them, ‘Who of your friends would be interested in trying Andie?’” That way, the friends in question get Andie’s suits from someone they know rather than a random company they don’t have any association with, hopefully making them more enthusiastic about supporting the brand.

“That is very much a part of the strategy, getting their friends to also post. It's something that we were really thankful was actually very successful,” Travis explained.

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Before the billboard went up on July 26, Moore and her daughters teased it by posting photos from the shoot on their respective IG accounts. Andie also posted OOH ads from the campaign throughout New York City, and supported the overall push with paid and organic social posts. Between July 6 and July 28, Andie said its Instagram gained 10.5K followers + likes per post increased 150%, to an average of 2,100.

The swimsuit brand told Marketing Brew those metrics translated to sales, too: Three of Andie’s styles sold out in July.

Money money money

Speaking of growth, that Instagram boom didn’t happen in a vacuum—Andie increased its marketing budget by 60% this year. But Travis didn’t write a check the size of a billboard to hire Moore and her daughters. Instead, Moore holds equity in Andie, which was founded in 2016.

“Major celebrities are often very interested in equity deals, so sometimes they can cost as little as zero cash,” Travis told us.

Travis added that equity deals also make for more authentic content, because the celebrity has a stake in the brand. “For celebrity campaigns to be successful, it can't be like ‘Here's a huge check’ and that person posts, and then you call it a day. I think everyone understands there's nothing really going on between that celebrity and that brand, and that it's just some thinly veiled advertising thing,” Travis explained.

Quan Media CEO Brian Rappaport, whose media agency worked with Andie on the billboard’s placement, told us the brand spent more than $50,000 on it.

Rappaport also said that he’s been seeing celebrities work as de facto social media influencers via OOH ads more frequently. “We've had a lot of brands as of late that have had really strong ambassadors in the celebrity world that have looked for one iconic placement to use as almost a social sharing opportunity. That's kind of what I envisioned this board being. It's a great board to share on social,” he said.

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Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.