The sexiest ads on TV right now feature women in lingerie who proudly proclaim, “I’m no angel.” They are also among the best ads on TV right now, period.
These are the Lane Bryant women who do not have the perfect body type and embrace that, being what we often say all marketing should be: An aspirational reflection of its target audience.
That last part is key. When most marketers talk about target audiences, what they are really saying is that they want to be for everybody. The target audience is just whomever they hope to attract. In the end, by trying to be for everybody, they are for no one.
Identifying a target audience means emphasizes the word “target,” narrowing your scope so that you become exclusive, in a way, to that audience. You must put a stake in the ground and say, “This is who we are for.” It brings clarity to your message.
Lane Bryant ads
The Lane Bryant ads are also terrific because they go even further than that. To steal market share, you must also be positioned against the rest of the market. You must be a true choice. And this is where most marketing fails. Most marketing simply copies the same, tired messages that have churned through the industry over and over again, producing little preference among audiences.
The Lane Bryant ads are positioned directly against Victoria’s Secret, which presents size 0 models with perfect hair and bodies that wear angel wings in some spots.
If you placed Victoria’s Secret and Lane Bryant on a map, charting what they claim and who they represent, you would find them at opposite poles. That’s positioning against the competition.
And yet, there’s a whole other reason why the Lane Bryant ads work and it’s something that other apparel brands should notice. In a recent retail study, we said that most apparel shops really own nothing. To be more relevant in the marketplace, those retailers need to own something unique or they get lost in the shuffle and the pieces of their brand crumbles to the ground. Soon, CEOs resign, mergers are made and jobs are cut.
With this campaign, Lane Bryant has done more than show a new kind of sexy. It has shown the rest of the industry how smart marketing is really done.