Shopify Ecosystem

MuteSix’s Midas Touch: How To Turn DTC Creative Into Award-Winning Gold

mutesix’s-midas-touch:-how-to-turn-dtc-creative-into-award-winning-gold

The winners of the 27th Annual Communicator Awards, the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals, were officially announced on May 4 by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. 

Proudly racking up three shiny statuettes (including Awards of Excellence for Spongellé and BauBax and an Award of Distinction for Kenzzi), MuteSix stood out from a sea of nearly 6,000 competitors from across the U.S. and around the world. 

So, what makes DTC advertising content worthy of such high honors?  

Here, we pick the creative brains behind the winning spots to share how MuteSix achieved Awards of Excellence for Spongellé and BauBax, as well as an Award of Distinction for Kenzzi … and how they can do the same for your budding brand.

The Sweet Smell of Success: Spongellé Wins an Award of Excellence

Spongellé, the body-wash-infused body buffers selling off e-shelves at lightning speed, soaked up the spotlight this year, claiming the competition’s highest honor, thanks to the strategic work of its creators, Olivia Kelleher and Alexa Prosniewski. Here, the dynamic duo shares their secrets to success. 

Tip 1: Tailor Your Creative Strategy for Your Brand

“With one of the key product value props being scent, something that can’t be easily translated through video, it led us to think about what other production elements could do so in an intriguing way. To accomplish this transference on-screen, we leaned into the senses of sound and sight to evoke that scent resonance. By marrying a custom score to choreography with scent-affiliated production design, we were able to do just that.”

Tip 2: Keep Key Messaging Front and Center

“Think outside the box .. and then reign it in. Ask yourself how: how can you accomplish a unique vision that keeps key messaging at the forefront of the campaign, all the while remaining in budget. Always keep short attention spans top of mind.” 

Tip 3: Avoid Being Too Sales-y

“A key factor in executing such a delightfully unique campaign was the Spongellé team’s trust and excitement in our creative ideas. “Scent Symphonywas definitely an out-of-the-box concept that made it a clear differentiator from other spots in the saturated beauty vertical. Also, while still remaining DR-friendly, we really let the narrative speak for itself. All of the information needed to prompt a purchase was still intact, but felt more thumb-stopping, as it was in no way exhaustively sales-y.”

The Perfect Fit: BauBax Packs In an Award of Excellence 

BauBax are the innovators behind the revolutionary travel jacket for men and women that has eliminated several of the pain points of traveling with its 25 travel-essential features (including a built-in eye mask and inflatable neck pillow!). Here, the spot’s writer and director, Justin Lee, shares his tips to achieving “excellence.”

Tip 1: Draw Them In; Keep Them Hooked 

“We wanted to hook people right away, as we knew we were trying to get them to watch, by advertising standards, a very long commercial. In order to feature the jacket’s 25 pain-point-solving features that make travel less burdensome, we found strategic ways to highlight them all—for example when the actor walks though the X-RAY machine and all of these cool features light up at once. It was also important for us to present the spokesperson, played wonderfully by Colleen Kelly, as someone audiences could connect with and want to listen to. Using a spokesperson allowed us to convey a lot of information about the product in a succinct, personable, and conversational way. We also ensured the humor was universal since this product is sold internationally. Overall, the whole spot walks a fine line between cramming a lot of information about the product without losing the viewer and integrating relatable jokes about travel to keep audiences hooked.”

Tip 2: Create Content You Would Want to Watch

“Don’t be afraid to make content that you would want to watch. Create things that are fun and engaging. It’s easy to get into a groove where you’re thinking solely in marketing jargon and focusing on winning awards, which can set you up for failure in many cases. Sometimes, you just have to make a few jokes and make people laugh for a few moments. And, if those people happen to need the stuff you’re selling … well, now everyone’s smiling.”

Tip 3: Consider a Data-Driven Approach

“Because MuteSix is so data-driven as a company, it’s always in the minds of our creatives. We know what works and what gets results, so we use that as a starting point. Looking at the data allows us to avoid tailoring creative to fit traditional advertising standards. We start with what works in social and go from there. We have a lot of creative autonomy as a result because clients trust us based on our track record.”

From “Taboo” to Trophy: Kenzzi Scores an Award of Distinction

Truth be told: There’s nothing glamorous about hair removal. But, for MuteSix, that was no excuse not to celebrate the beauty that is Kenzzi, the almost too-good-to-be-true at-home hair removal solution topping every woman’s wishlist. From creating a brand voice and aesthetic to winning the Award of Distinction, Olivia Kelleher and Alexa Prosniewski helped Kenzzi every step of the way. Here’s how.

Tip 1: Start With Establishing a Brand Voice

“We worked to build a brand voice and recognition for Kenzzi by developing a full-funnel, cross-channel creative strategy focused on demonstrating how Kenzzi is superior to other hair-removal methods. By incorporating a brand-spokesperson-driven narrative, humor, and use cases, we made the topic of hair removal seem less taboo, established a sense of relatability to the problems women experience when it comes to hair removal, and presented Kenzzi as the solution to those problems.”

Tip 2: Push Boundaries Within Your Vertical  

“Our approach to this campaign was utilizing what we like to call a “Scripted Spokesperson Pitch.” This paired with humorous, multi-talent vignettes produced a fun and engaging narrative that’s not common in the beauty space. The highly stylized production design also played a huge role in storytelling and aesthetically stands out amongst competitor ads.”

Tip 3: Collaborate With Media Buyers

“Given the nature of MuteSix, we get so much valuable insight working hand-in-hand with our media buyers. This collaboration helps us predict what will make a successful ad. It works both ways where the creative team’s vision is the “North Star” for the campaign, while the media team’s data-driven insights and strategy help us optimize the creative for performance. In leveraging both sides of the operation, we run a well-oiled, always up-to-date and forward-thinking machine that exudes great results.”

Want to create award-winning content for your brand? Partner with the experienced creatives at MuteSix, the full-funnel ad agency that delivers wins for its clients thanks to its breakthrough creative, targeted media buying, and data-driven approach. If you’re interested in learning more about our services, drop us a line through our website today.

Special thanks to our friends at MuteSix for their insights on this topic.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA, starting in the early days of online commerce when he achieved Power Seller status through his eBay store. This propelled him to become a co-founder of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. With a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus, where he helps identify, navigate, and accelerate growth in the complex world of commerce.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast and Shopify Founder Stories, a top-rated twice-weekly podcast where he interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty.

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