Well it wasn’t quite champagne. In fact, far from it. The whole point of our campaign shoot for season Summer 15 (released in August) was to get it done on the smell of an oily rag. Our last shoot cost an arm and a leg, and while the work that was delivered was of a high standard and bang on brief, we simply couldn’t afford that kind of outlay. And as our model (he moonlights as a model; he’s in commercial real estate so no stranger to numbers) posited, ‘how do you put an ROI on a campaign shot?’
A good question, and one we had always been inclined to ask ourselves. How do you quantify the value of that image, as well as all the other pieces of information about the brand swirling around in the customer’s mind when they purchase something from you? Our best bet, especially at our size, is to minimise that cost as much as we can. At least until we’re putting up billboards and dressing planes.
To take a step back for a minute, each of Cambridge’s four brands shoots two campaigns a year – spring/summer is shot in July, autumn/winter in January. Each brand needs to tell a fresh story in a variety of channels – websites, in store, social media, stock books – and it comes at a significant cost if you want to shoot with a reputable team. Something that the organisation isn’t shy about. However, as owners of Kit – a small corner of the Cambridge universe – we don’t have a big enough business to justify that kind of spend. We needed to become guerrillas.
So we booked relatively low cost models, shot over the weekend to get a cheaper rate, used a photography team that wasn’t from men’s tailoring, got our friends to help us out with the location, and paid in contra wherever we could. And of course, croissants instead of champagne.
And the result? Well we still don’t know how to put an ROI on a campaign image, but we did manage to save about $15k on last year and came in well under the initial budget for this go around. A resounding success in fiscal terms, which means we can invest more of that budget on activities that allow us to track the return on our investment. The fact that they look exactly how we hoped they would is no small matter either.