- Footwear brand Cole Haan partnered with media company Forbes and creative agency Giant Spoon on an online video series that offers style advice to professionals. "Changemakers" is a 12-episode mobile- and social-first series aimed at millennials that profiles the professional experiences of young adults.
- The series includes interviews with influencers such as former U.S. Navy Seal Randy Hetrick, who developed the TRX exercise program, travel photographer Tiffany Nguyen and spearfisher Valentine Thomas. Chris Strang, CEO of The Infatuation restaurant recommendation site, is also featured.
- "Changemakers" is part of a broader campaign of 45 pieces of branded content on Forbes' website, including both short-form and long-form videos.
As brands like Cole Haan seek to stand out in a crowded media and retail environment, they're developing fresh mobile- and social-first strategies to reach target audiences and share their brand stories. The "Changemakers" video series highlights inspiring stories of millennial movers and shakers while helping Cole Haan demonstrate how its brand fits with the aspirations of young adults seeking to develop a fulfilling career and cultivate personal interests. Millennials are more likely than older generations to prefer brands that demonstrate their authenticity and social values rather than their status as luxury goods, and the use of influencers follows industry-wide trends that see more investment in influencer-aided campaigns.
Cole Haan isn't alone in developing a video series to reach audiences on mobile and social platforms. Athletic apparel maker Under Armour last year started promoting its Icon line of customized athletic gear with its first long-form episodic video series on IGTV, Instagram's standalone video platform. Nike, which previously owned Cole Haan, also rolled out a video series on IGTV that highlighted the inspiring stories of everyday athletes.
In addition to video, Cole Haan has incorporated social media strategies to other parts of its online sales efforts. The brand last year started using Facebook Messenger notifications to cut down on online shopping cart abandonment. Online or mobile shoppers are automatically opted in to get updates through the Facebook chat app when they add a product to their carts on Cole Haan's site. Shoppers can click on one of those notifications in Messenger to buy the item without ever leaving the platform.