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New Marketing Campaign: Feel Merino
“Soft on your skin no matter the challenge,
Mother Nature knows best with Merino wool”
AWI has launched a new marketing campaign aimed at increasing US consumers’ awareness of Merino wool as a natural fibre that is soft on the skin and ideal for sports and outdoor pursuits. A key element of the Feel Merino campaign is to drive purchases of commercially available Merino wool performance wear on e-commerce giant Amazon.com.
“Merino wool is the real deal; the antithesis to a synthetic world; the original performance fibre.”
Sportswear is the fastest growing apparel sector and there is currently a retail boom in outdoor sectors such as hiking and biking. Merino wool’s inherent qualities, such as thermo-regulation, breathability, odour resistance – and superior softness next-to-skin – make the fibre the perfect choice for sports, outdoor and athleisure apparel.
However, while great progress has been made by the wool industry during the past few years in product development and marketing the benefits of wool in these sectors, there is still a persistent and outdated misconception amongst the average consumer, especially in the US, that wool is “warm and itchy” and only suitable for very traditional (ie non-sport) sectors.
AWI’s new Feel Merino marketing campaign has been developed to help put an end to this mistaken perception and create a new narrative for Merino wool as a hard-working, but always soft, performance fibre – the campaign’s message being: “Soft on your skin no matter the challenge, Mother Nature knows best with Merino wool.”
The campaign, which targets millennials, was launched in early November by AWI’s marketing arm, The Woolmark Company, and runs through to the end of the year. Although the campaign is currently targeting the US market, it has the ability to rolled out across other geographic markets.
Woolgrower Dave Ward, ‘Spring Ponds’ near Goulburn, features in the Feel Merino campaign. Dave, with his wife Skye and three children who are sixth generation at ‘Spring Ponds’, run a 17-micron self-replacing Merino flock on the property. “Being involved in filming for the campaign to promote Australian Merino wool to the US market was a great experience,” Dave said. “It’s an exciting campaign which should have good cut-through to the US consumer – an increasingly important market for our fibre. I wore Merino wool base-layers when I walked the Kokoda Track a few years ago and even in all that humidity it kept me cool and never smelt even after days of wear.”
Shot in NSW, the campaign’s story of Merino is told through the people who wear it: the iconic Australian woolgrower and the everyday athlete. The two are presented in parallel, showing that woolgrowers have days as physical and exacting as athletes – and delivering the message that Merino wool helps you perform strongly by always staying soft. The woolgrower, Dave Ward from ‘Spring Ponds’ near Goulburn, is wearing a wool flannel from Ridge Merino; the hiker wears a Rhone Merino jersey.
“Whether you are facing another long day looking after your flock or pushing yourself through a gruelling exercise routine, Merino wool is the ultimate fibre to support you, so you exceed your personal best.”
The campaign includes the Feel Merino Anthem, a 60-second film, plus shorter edits, which are being shown across The Woolmark Company’s digital and social channels, plus on e-commerce giant Amazon.com.
The Feel Merino Anthem, a 60-second film, aims to capture people’s attention and provide them with a new understanding about Merino wool’s natural versatility and suitability for performance wear.
The campaign also includes Feel Merino Single Stories which connect the physical nature of working growing Merino wool to a specific athletic performance: running, biking, hiking and climbing. These stories are being used across the digital and social channels of The Woolmark Company as well as those of brand partners whose Merino wool products feature in the campaign.
The partners featured in the campaign include Tracksmith, Rapha, PEARL iZUMi, Vivobarefoot, Salomon, Minus33, Woolly, Ibex, Ridge Merino and Rhone. Importantly, path-to-purchase links are provided to partners’ webstores and the Feel Merino Amazon.com store.
“The Feel Merino campaign currently being targeted at the lucrative US market is challenging outdated perceptions of wool and creating an excitement about the future, rather than nostalgia for the past. It celebrates the innovative and natural performance qualities and super softness of Merino wool – and is finding a home for Merino wool with a new audience,” AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said.
“Partnering with the largest retailer on the planet, Amazon, provides the campaign with the perfect media platform for our nation’s premium fibre whilst also driving consumers towards Merino wool performance wear products that they can readily purchase.”
Further components of the campaign, featuring an Australian-born sportsman famous in the US (to be announced), will be rolled out soon.
More information: www.woolmark.com/feel-merino
WOOLMARK FEEL MERINO PARTNERSHIP WITH AMAZON
The Woolmark Company has partnered with e-commerce giant Amazon for the Feel Merino campaign.
The partnership involves a highly targeted promotion of the campaign across the Amazon e-commerce site, the Amazon family (eg Fire TV) and off-Amazon (eg Amazon users across the web).
All activity is directed towards bringing consumers to the Feel Merino store within Amazon.com where they are directed to Merino wool products which they can buy from brand partners, which include Woolly, Ibex, Vivobarefoot, Minus 33, Pearl iZUMi, Western Rise, Ridge Merino, Wool&Princeand Ortovox.
Head to www.woolmark.com/feel-merino to access the shop on Amazon.com.
Woolmark Feel Merino store on Amazon.com makes it very easy to find commercially available Merino wool products for your preferred sporting activity.
This article appeared in the December 2020 edition of AWI’s Beyond the Bale magazine. Reproduction of the article is encouraged, however prior permission must be obtained from the Editor.