Banana Republic Looks to Make Consumer Love Connections

Feb 07, 2013

Valentine’s Day is near and men and women everywhere are feeling the pressure … ur love … to make the holiday romantically meaningful. Banana Republic is looking to do its part to bring people together through a joint promotion with, an online dating site. The retailer is hosting eight in-store "After Hour" events for subscribers in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

The marketing hookup with is part of the chain’s "Love" campaign. Included is print and social media messaging showing models and celebrity blogger Joy D. Cho of Oh Joy wearing the chain’s fashions while interacting with significant others in their lives.

"The Love campaign reflects our passion for celebrating our customers’ most meaningful moments — both large and small," said Catherine Sadler, global chief marketing officer for Banana Republic, in a statement. "The images beautifully illustrate Banana Republic’s spring style in a soulful way, and the use of an influential blogger enables us to extend our content and reach, which is both fun and exciting."

The association with Ms. Cho is seen as particularly significant for the chain, which is seeking to use digital content to create an emotional connection with consumers. Ms. Cho’s participation in the campaign will include a recreation of her first date with her husband while, of course, wearing clothes from Banana Republic.

Ms. Sadler told Bloomberg News that Ms. Cho’s blog gets more than 190,000 unique visitors a month and that she has more than 12 million followers on Pinterest.

"We’re really interested in adding dimension to our conversation with our customer and telling deeper stories," Ms. Sadler told Bloomberg. "That is very much a focus of 2013, to be able to engage with our customers at a deeper, more dimensional level, and to be able to create content that showcases our product."

Will consumers feel the love for Banana Republic’s new campaign? What do you think of its associations with and Joy D. Cho?

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4 Comments on "Banana Republic Looks to Make Consumer Love Connections"

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Liz Crawford
9 years 3 months ago

Great idea to do a tie-in, but I think Victoria’s Secret might have been a more natural fit…or even GAP Body.

Lee Kent
9 years 3 months ago

I always love to see retailers try new campaigns with partners that will create great customer experiences. The issue to me here is that I don’t think ‘Love’ when I hear the name, Banana Republic. Just not sure this is a theme that will resonate with this retailer. I’ll be interested to see.

Carol Spieckerman
Carol Spieckerman
9 years 3 months ago

The Banana/ pair-up is essentially event marketing—something that retail is ripe for right about now. When I first visited Sears’ Kenmore Live Studio in Chicago, I thought the date night cooking events that they hosted were a terrific idea (and the one I caught was well attended). Great way to inject a bit of engagement in key locations and no doubt the events will receive quite a bit of local coverage. Free advertising!

Kai Clarke
9 years 3 months ago

Maybe. It is great for BR to stretch and reach out to consumers with alternate affiliations. This may broaden their positioning, but the key question is by how much? Only time will tell the success of this position and if it has any meaning toward’s BR’s growth.


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