How customer intent helped to shape Gucci's ‘Gift Giving’ campaign

Erica Probst / October 2020

Intent is key to understanding what customers are doing online. Every time shoppers turn to digital, they’re signaling that intent. And they’re making decisions at every step of the journey. Brands that can tap into this intent and understand what a customer is doing can deliver messaging and creatives that resonate with audiences.

Seize seasonal opportunities

The holiday shopping season has already started and consumers are researching festive finds. And with the lasting effects of COVID-19, seasonal shopping will likely look a bit different this year. In fact, 61% of U.K. shoppers say the pandemic will affect how they’ll shop for the holidays1 and over 70% said they will shop online more for the holidays than previous seasons.2

During last year’s holiday shopping season, the busiest time of year in luxury retail, Gucci launched its annual global ‘Gift Giving’ campaign ⁠— taking a full-funnel approach on YouTube to reach new consumers, drive consideration, and stand out amongst the crowd.

How customer intent helped to shape Gucci's ‘Gift Giving’ campaign

To bring its campaign to life, Gucci partnered with world-renowned director Harmony Korine to work on the creative. The high-end creative they produced set the scene for the annual strategy and was adapted for each digital stage.

The team also wanted to ensure that viewers moved down the marketing funnel with each step of the ad campaign – they matched customer intent with relevant messaging in a bid to cut through the online noise.

Stand out across the full funnel

To reach new consumers, the brand based its audience strategy on keywords, interests, and recent purchase intent, starting with a 15-second skippable campaign video that then drove users to the longer director’s cut.

The next step was geared towards consideration. Gucci showed a collection of six-second bumper ads to people that were likely to show interest and remarketed to those who had engaged with the brand, but hadn’t purchased.

Gucci honed in on specific high-interest regions to drive action. With 11-second product videos, the brand used TrueView for action and TrueView for shopping to connect viewers directly to relevant items ⁠— bringing customers closer to making a purchase.

Driving intent to deliver results

The campaign had 33.7 million impressions and was viewed 5.4 million times globally, receiving over 44.5 thousand clicks to its site ⁠— with over four thousand in the U.K. alone. The brand’s videos had a 31% view rate and 58% view completion rate.

"YouTube played a key role in our ‘Gift Giving’ media strategy, providing the tools to engage users at different stages of the digital purchase journey with adapted creative formats to increase awareness and drive sales,” explains the Gucci media team.

Even in times when competition is high, marketers can reach audiences throughout the path to purchase by thinking about brand awareness and how to connect across the entire funnel, using key indicators like interest and intent.

5 marketer takeaways

  • Make use of seasonal moments. Get on shoppers’ wish lists during the busiest times of the year.
  • Reach audiences with ad sequencing. Tell your full story over multiple individual videos and adapt based on how viewers interact. Here are five principles for creating unskippable video ads and check out this new interactive guide for more tips on sequential storytelling.
  • Match intent with messaging. Creatives can be easily edited to align with customer intent at whatever stage of the funnel. Make your creative work hard, especially in the first five seconds where you should capture your brand, product, and call to action. Then, let TrueView for action do the heavy lifting for you, as it auto-optimises to any action on your site, whether it’s “learn more”, “sign up”, or “buy now”.
  • Drive conversions by fine tuning your audience to those most likely to buy, and connecting them directly to your product. Find my Audience can help you discover your most valuable customers on YouTube.
  • Measure: Track sales, site visits, and store visits beyond the last click. Choose tools to build your own campaign with YouTube Select, which will enable you to make customised offerings for your brand or client.
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