Shortlisted 2016




Lead Agency



The Challenge

2015 has been a new chapter in the life of the Diesel brand, with the whole company being re-structured to reconnect and reach a more lucrative audience – the Smart Rebel. This audience was identified as the result of an extensive piece of audience segmentation work. Our new audience consists of young affluent individuals that like to make a statement within their group, not to stand out from it. The key insight from the research was that the Smart Rebel audience were aware of what Diesel is against, but were not so sure what the brand actually stands for.

Through the consumer research we learned that Smart Rebels are looking for styling ideas and reassurance about the clothes they wear, looking for brands that can inspire them and not promotion. We also found that they are engaged more by stories than traditional advertising, and that they are truly omnichannel, wanting seamless integration across devices.

As a result of this research, Diesel devised a whole new tone of voice in order to connect with the Smart Rebel. Our key brand attributes, bravery, now manifests itself in honesty, telling it like it is.

We needed the best way to activate this campaign to provide an honest point of view to the consumer across six key markets: US, UK, Italy, Germany, France and The Netherlands.

The Strategy

Recent years have seen Diesel move from capturing the attention through advertising to one that captures attention through innovation, with it being widely recognized that advertising is much more effective with clever placement of ads.

Therefore the strategy was heavily focused on communicating with Smart Rebels in the most effective way, using data heavy targeting to minimize wastage. To do this, firstly we must understand how the Smart Rebel consumes
media and the typical usage characteristics.

The goal for us is to catch Smart Rebels’ attention on their phones as the space isn’t yet crowded by other ads. As they are truly omni-channel, we ensured a seamless cross device approach. Contextualizing the executions was key in this approach, to ensure that the correct message was selected for each
placement. In our programmatic display activity a sequential messaging approach was implemented to achieve brand storytelling in our communications.

Typical adservers cannot identify users across device and the activity is reported on at a cookie level. We double tracked the campaign with a standard adserver as well as Atlas, to achieve a more robust user level view. With Atlas,
because it employs the facebook ID instead of cookies for tracking, this allows a cross device view (if a user has Facebook logged in on desktop and on other devices) and therefore provides a much more accurate view of people
based reach down to the user ID, rather than the cookie, as well as people based insights, such as actual age of users and gender.

The Implementation

We launched a unique global programmatic campaign, serving up 404 different tailored ads in real time on mobile, to story-tell instead of sell. Overlaying multiple targeting techniques, we engaged this audience in premium environments that aligned with their interests, such as music and fashion.

The campaign was activated on four main channels; Programmatic, Partnership (Shazam) Video and Social and 404 creative variations.
We were able to have precise target audience information, rather than communicating with masses through traditional media buys. This meant we were able to maximize campaign reach whilst minimizing wastage.
Programmatic display was leveraged in several ways; to serve our brand messaging and fashion focused ads in a premium environment via Private Marketplace (PMP) to serve contextual messages aligning against verticals that
resonate with Smart Rebels – Music, Rock, Fashion, Dating and Gender Neutrality – and sequentially retargeting
users that were exposed either within Private Marketplace (PMP) or via contextual targeting with tailored retargeting banners in order to drive users to site.

Our serial messaging approach began with prospecting users by building audience pools based on the research insights. We also capitalized on cookie pools and used onsite pixels in order to build lookalike models of who had
engaged with the brand and landed on site.

Our partnership with Shazam was a global first and enabled us to have contextual relevance by showcasing the Diesel Rock collection against trending Rock songs in major cities across five markets. User behavior within the
platform provided us the ability to compile relevant executions such as ‘I didn’t get that either’ for when a song wasn’t recognized.

Video activations across YouTube and AdKnowledge allowed us to communicate the narrative for the campaign. To help inform future campaign buying approach we ran a test to see whether YouTube true view activity or
Adknowledge programmatic video activity achieved a higher view through rate.
We placed pixels within our video creative in order to retarget via  programmatic display, using the Diesel ‘got cookies?’ creative.

The Result

In programmatic display as can be expected, lower funnel retargeting drove the highest volume of site visits. There was a notable increase in click through rat for Fall Winter 2015 retargeting phase and it can be inferred that this is attributable to the evolution in the Fall Winter 2015 sequential creative story.
Interestingly Music contextual and Fashion contextual lines outperformed Private Marketplace activity in terms of engaging users, a learning that we will capitalize on in future activations. Music contextual was the best performing vertical across all of the EU and USA activity.

Our programmatic video with Adknowledge exceeded the view through rate benchmark on the publisher and outperformed YouTube in terms of both view through rate and cost per completed view (CPCV). We are also able to access premium inventory programmatically via Adknowledge, including the LAtimes, Hypebeast and Rolling Stone, whilst buying on a completed view basis.