How a Bookstore Re-Established Itself with Authentic Influencer Video

In order to be competitive with younger brands, the National Book Store in the Philippines re-established itself with an authentic influencer video.
Influencer video

Summary

An influencer video on Facebook of a celebrity shopping back-to-school supplies, re-established the Philippine National Book Store as the only back-to-school destination. The Huddle Room managed this by allowing for authenticity and no limitations in the video.

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Publisher/Agency: The Huddle Room
Campaign: National Book Store – Kris’ Faves & Finds
Brand: National Book Store
Country: The Philippines

Being around for 75 years comes with the need for reinvention in order to be competitive with younger and fresher brands.

Mission

Each back-to-school season in the Philippines comes with the tradition of buying school supplies at National Book Store (NBS). Ask anyone their favourite back-to-school activity as a child and it will surely include an indelible shopping memory or favourite school item from NBS.

And that was the challenge. Being around for 75 years comes with the need for reinvention in order to be competitive with younger and fresher brands. NBS needed to show shoppers that it doesn’t only offer old-time favourites but new discoveries as well. NBS needed to cater to a new generation of young shoppers who seek not only products but an exciting shopping experience.

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Indeed, there was a need to re-establish NBS’ positioning as the only back-to-school destination among old and new generations alike.

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KPIs

Given the objective, The Huddle Room wanted to utilize a platform where people from different generations collided: Facebook. They looked at these metrics:

  • Reach (Paid vs. Organic) – while they used paid ads to initially boost the material, they didn’t want to rely solely on paid exposure to reach their market.
  • Views – they wanted to make sure that content is interesting enough for people to stop, click and watch.

The Huddle Room talked to both parents of back-to-schoolers and students themselves.

Target audience

The Huddle Room talked to both parents of back-to-schoolers and students themselves. Each group had different motivations for shopping for school supplies.

Parents looked for high-quality, yet affordable items – school supplies that will last the entire year. They also wanted a comfortable and convenient shopping experience, i.e. that everything could be found in one place.

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On the other hand, students sought school supplies that reflected their individuality. They wanted fun and unique items that hasten their creativity and would make their school year exciting.

The strategy was to elevate back-to-school shopping in National Book Store from a functional chore to an exciting shopping experience.

Strategic approach

The strategy was to elevate back-to-school shopping in National Book Store from a functional chore to an exciting shopping experience.

The Huddle Room knew that despite competition, National Book Store has the best claim to the inexplicably thrilling feeling of back-to-school shopping, with old favourites and new, hip finds that will make students excited to go back to school. With this strategy, the challenge was communicating this to an audience that values authenticity in how brands talk to them.

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The key lay in creating situations where Kris could be her most authentic self. In this case – a shopping spree.

Creative Idea

The idea was simple. An online video showing an influencer doing back-to-school shopping for her son in National Book Store. What makes this idea stand out? The choice of influencer, Kris Aquino.

Kris Aquino is a popular and often times polarizing celebrity in the Philippines – both admired and despised for her candour. In a country where modesty is the norm, Kris defied tradition by living her life openly.

She is unapologetic for her mistakes of which she has many. Her highs and lows are known to all who is willing to read and watch the news. Also, she is opinionated and will brazenly share her thoughts on many matters.

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For these reasons, she is loved and hated, but one thing people can’t deny is her authenticity. She says what she means. Because of this, people believe her and her natural excitement and passion for certain things can be infectious.

The key lay in creating situations where Kris could be her most authentic self. In this case – a shopping spree.

No script, no fancy effects and no sophisticated camera tricks. Just let Kris shop and let her do magic. The Huddle Room let Kris roam the aisles of the biggest NBS store in the country together with her son, Bimby, and an NBS rep for some back-to-school shopping.

She scoured the items, turning them over one by one. Some items were received with rave reviews, some brought back memories of her own school years, some elicited thrilled shrieks while some evoked a lacklustre response. She was excited to discover that some brands she already loved can be found in NBS while she gamely discovered new products which can be shared with friends.

During the shopping trip, there was story-telling, insight-sharing and even some gossip. She shared valuable back to school tips with other moms. Exactly how a fun shopping experience should be.

While other brands will find such freedom terrifying, The Huddle Room felt it was the best way to achieve the desired results.

The Huddle Room called the resulting video “Kris’ Faves & Find”, which encapsulates the familiar, beloved items and fresh discoveries featured in the video. It is an authentic shopping experience, something that all consumers – young or old – can relate to.

While other brands will find such freedom terrifying, The Huddle Room felt it was the best way to achieve the desired results. No limitations meant that Kris was free to express herself and her influence in a way she was most comfortable – positive or not. And people expected no less from her.

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Also, having no limitations showed that the brand was confident and secure. Only a brand who has been loved for 75 years can allow itself to be judged so openly in order to bring forth an authentic shopping experience.

Platforms

The Huddle Room utilized primarily Facebook because it is a platform utilized by everyone, young and old alike. It is also a platform where authenticity is appreciated and manifests in the form of immediate and honest feedback.

Other social media platforms were also utilized as support: Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.

Content Distribution and promotion efforts

The Huddle Room used Kris’ personal Facebook page to maximize exposure among her fans and followers. But they also did minimal boosting of the video to gain more exposure as they knew that her influence extended beyond her regular followers.

They also posted teaser materials on Kris’ Twitter and Instagram pages and in her Youtube Channel for added support.

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Size of team involved

Kris Faves & Finds was conceptualized by The Huddle Room, the appointed media agency of NBS. The video was produced in cooperation with Kris’ production and social media team, and the client, National Book Store.

The video was shared over 7,300 times, something that no paid placement can automatically deliver.

Results

  • Traditionally in the Philippines, paid reach would account for 90% of a campaign’s social reach. But Kris’ Faves & Finds resulted in 54% organic reach and 46% paid reach – organic exceeding paid by 7%.
  • The video was shared over 7,300 times, something that no paid placement can automatically deliver.
  • Of the 2.6M impressions, 1.3M viewed the video giving it a 53% view rate, far higher than the usual score in the Philippines of 35%.
  • The material also received over half a million interactions in the form of clicks, likes, comments and shares.

Despite Kris’ strong presence in the video, NBS shone forth and resulted in diverse feedback about NBS memories and always being their “happy place”. There was a lot of comment asking for the featured NBS branch (resulting to The Huddle Room editing the post to include the location), comments tagging their friends and inviting them to NBS and even comments about specific items which they found interesting.  


This case study is part of a collection of award-winning native advertising examples studies from Native Advertising Awards presented by The Native Advertising Institute.

We aim to acknowledge and reward great native advertising and promote inspiring, effective and creative work that helps organizations worldwide achieve their goals and tell great brand stories in a non-disruptive way.

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