Dayrize

Laying foundations for the next big marketplace

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Dayrize is the UK’s largest consumer marketplace for sustainable products. It exists to make impact assessments more accessible, making it easy for both consumers and businesses to understand and ultimately reduce their environmental and social impact.

It came to DEPT® to create large scale awareness of sustainable alternatives to everyday products. To do this successfully, Dayrize needed web traffic that was affordable, qualitative and also scalable. We leveraged our proprietary technology, Ada by DEPT®, to creatively use data and machine learning and realise a flexible, data-driven website structure in just a few days.

Good for shoppers and the environment

To combat climate change, Dayrize sees the way we shop as an accessible first step for conscious consumers. Dayrize is a marketplace for sustainable products with the aim to bring consumption within planetary boundaries.

Transparent, accessible and easy to use. To set up a marketplace with eventually hundreds of thousands of products, you obviously need to generate quality traffic.

DEPT® advised to build a very broad content base on the site and to reinvest every pound earned in expanding this foundation. Paid channels would serve as an extra accelerator without becoming dependent on them.

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Automated keyword analysis

The priority of products and categories in the marketplace is determined by their business potential. On the one hand, there are product groups frequently searched for. On the other hand, there are product groups with high margins and sufficient supply.

Considering these two factors, Dayrize determines which product groups receive a more prominent place within the website structure so that potential customers complete an ideal customer journey.

To understand potential search volumes, we asked our partner Google for help. They shared insights about trends and search behaviour surrounding sustainability topics in combination with the categories we focused on. This gave us a clear picture of the search intent: was there an explicit search for sustainability or was it an implicit search that explained certain behaviour? The latter turned out to be the case.

With the SEMrush Related Keywords API, we retrieved keywords and related search terms to determine which attributes are relevant to the search behaviour. We grouped these into a self-developed keyword cluster model consisting of Google’s BERT algorithm and its own machine learning algorithm.

BERT tested the keywords on 512 points and gave them a semantic score to group related search terms. Because of the size, there were also many non-relevant search terms, which we grouped with our own algorithm.

Data-driven decision making

Next, we formed the foundation of the website structure using the clusters and search volumes found. This normally takes several months to set up manually.

Now, Dayrize was able to determine its main categories, subcategories, landing pages and even filter options based on the business potential after just a few days.

However, automation replaces manual work, not creative thinking. Dayrize automatically and periodically receives a spreadsheet in which the main categories, subcategories, clusters, the number of keywords per cluster and the search volumes are reported.

Together with the stakeholders of Dayrize, this enabled us to make well-considered choices about the information architecture, website interaction elements and the most interesting products and product groups.

Commercial insights at scale

By applying and bringing together new technologies, we made a manual process unprecedentedly scalable. This not only serves findability and user-friendliness, but also creates commercial insights for buyers: which products are the target group looking for exactly and which are interesting enough for purchase?

Keyword research on this scale and with this accuracy would have been impossible without automation. We retrieved 38 million data points (keywords and search volumes) and processed these with Google’s BERT algorithm, supplemented with our own algorithm.

This saved Dayrize about 90% of the manual work (about €180,000 in hourly compensation on this scale), in just a few days. The result is a flexible, data-driven website structure that forms the basis of “the next big marketplace”, one focused on a sustainable future.

Questions?

Director of Data, CRO & Insights

Matt Lacey

Rituals

Conquering the biggest data challenge

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Rituals was launched in 2000 and has grown into a must-have Home & Body cosmetics brand over the years. Rituals’ ambition is for continuous growth; increasing revenue in its primary markets (Netherlands and Germany), while growing in all its markets across Europe and the US. How? By improving its organic findability.

Duplicate pages: a true conversation killer

Each country has its own Rituals website, which is needed in order to ship the products to various countries. As a result, there are no less than 22 duplicates of the English website alone! It’s not great in terms of your SEO when you consider the large amount of duplicate content, significant fragmentation in authority and waste of crawl budget with more than one million pages. To give you an example, this is what happened in practice: people in France that used French search terms in their search ended up on a French website of Luxembourg. Due to duplicate content and incorrect hreflang tags which resulted in the wrong indexation. As a Frenchman, it wasn’t possible to check out on Luxembourg’s website version. In addition, if you switched countries on the website, the content of your cart wouldn’t automatically switch to the website version of the domestic country. And you end with an empty shopping cart: a true conversion killer.


Increasing revenue in its primary markets while growing in all other countries

In an attempt to solve this problem, we started a thorough rationalisation of all Rituals websites. This entails an extensive migration of all individual websites to one .com domain, focusing on “indexability”, “crawlability”, “authority” and “usability”. We kept the deadline of Fall in mind, so the rewards could be reaped in the winter season: the ultimate gift-giving season for Rituals.

Combining similar website pages together

Besides rationalisation, the right international tagging had to be added (“hreflang” and Search Console). And of course, each language had different countries and currencies. Because of the large number of pages and duplicates, Google failed to pick up on the pages in the way that it should have. The choice was made to make one version indexable per language/currency. The following considerations were taken into account:

  • The link value of the duplicates could not be lost, which is why 301-redirects were moved from the duplicate pages to the main page.
  • The pages that were to disappear still needed to be available for campaigns and check out, which is why duplicates of those pages were created. However, these duplicate pages aren’t visible in search engines. Consequently, a ‘disallow’ in the robots.txt (crawlability & indexability) and, for the completeness, a ‘noindex’ were added to the “new” duplicate pages.

Results

The migration to only one .com domain led to several positive results:

  • Greatly improved indexation
  • Crawl budget much better spent
  • Increased authority
  • Check-out on the website they entered organically
  • Revenue increased with 186% before Rituals peak season (winter)

Questions?

Director of Data, CRO & Insights

Matt Lacey

Simple Feast

A new e-commerce site for a B Corp food brand

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Simple Feast, the certified B Corporation that offers plant-based meal kits to consumers in Denmark, Sweden and the US, turned to DEPT® to help them deliver a new e-commerce site. As a fellow certified B Corp, DEPT® was perfectly placed to create a digital platform that reflects the sustainability, quality and convenience that Simple Feast stands for.

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Simple Feast puts sustainability first

At Simple Feast, the mission is simple: to create the sustainable food of the future. With their well-composed meal kits, they make it both easy and delicious to eat healthy, organic and environmentally friendly. The menus are developed by some of the world’s leading chefs and are delivered in ready-to-go pots, so busy people can easily gather around the dinner table with great food made from scratch.

The food you get in your Simple Feast meal kit is 100% vegan, organic and locally sourced. And the passion for sustainability doesn’t stop there; all the packaging and delivery boxes can be reused again and again.

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The challenge: a rebel in the Red Ocean market

Subscription meal kits are a ‘Red Ocean’ market, where the battle to attract and retain customers is continuous and intense. In order to succeed in its mission and champion the sustainability message, Simple Feast had to stand out from the crowd.That’s why it was crucial that the new site conveyed their mission clearly, reflecting their brand identity.

The new site needed to make it clear to customers what they are paying for when they buy a meal kit from the market’s green rebel. Choosing Simple Feast is not just a matter of convenience and quality, it’s also contributing towards a better and more sustainable world.

Another goal of the project was to increase sales of Simple Feast’s ‘Essentials’ product range, which includes plant-based yogurt, homemade granola, and jars of comfort food ready to heat up. So, when building the site, it was important to ensure that the Essentials range was introduced as a natural add-on to the meal kits.

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The solution: rebellious and user-friendly

Creative agency Waaitt designed the visual identity which DEPT® then further developed digitally to roll out on the website. The style is strong, bold and unconventional. With its bright colours and crisp fonts, the visual expression communicates precisely the rebellious attitude which is such an important part of Simple Feast’s brand identity.

The site had to be user-friendly and work across Simple Feast’s three markets, Denmark, Sweden, and the US. To reach the right balance between recognisability and rebelliousness, we drew inspiration from best practices in e-commerce and focused on shaking up convention through strong design.

The goal was to create a website that presented Simple Feast as the frontrunners in the food of the future. So we needed to create a design language that cut to the chase and stood out from the crowd. The solution was to turn to raw authenticity. To get to the core of the brand message, we kept the expression straightforward, with grids and images that go all the way to the edge of the page. In other words, we created a site that is just like its brand: simple.

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A B Corp brand that leaves a mark

Simple Feast is a bold brand. Their core product isn’t just another meal kit; it is soul food wrapped in ambition and thoughtfulness. And the same now goes for their site.

Together with Simple Feast, we have created a unique digital representation of the brand. The redesign of subpages is still a work in progress, but the mission to make the brand’s activist spirit shine through is already complete.

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It’s a pleasure to work with ambitious brands that also care about sustainability. That’s why it’s been great to help another B Corp company, Simple Feast, in their mission to make the world a better place, one meal at a time.

Marie Spliid Kirkegaard, UX Manager at DEPT®

Discover the website

Questions?

UX Manager

Marie Spliid Kirkegaard

Randstad

Boosting the job market with data-driven solutions

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As the largest employment agency in the Netherlands, Randstad has an enormous database of vacancies and outstanding advertisements for all available jobs. So maintaining an overview of current advertisements can be challenging. Which platforms contribute to conversions? And which job ads are still online when they should be offline? DEPT® developed a new data-driven solution to make it easier and more efficient for Randstad to show vacancies in the right place, and fill them.

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Scalability as a requirement

Scalability is a must for Randstad. All solutions were therefore developed within Google Cloud Platform, with the idea that another country within the global organisation could easily make use of the same technology.

Our data models and machine learning applications are generic and can be applied to data from other countries. In this way, we developed solutions that are reusable, reduce future development costs for other countries, and allow the business impact of solutions to be scaled up quickly.

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A personalised attribution framework

We created a custom-made attribution framework in Google Cloud Platform that completely fits Randstad’s modus operandi and maps out the entire customer journey of thousands of applicants. And a framework that makes it easier for marketers within Randstad to collect data, gain insights and experiment with campaigns to achieve the desired results.

The complete attribution framework consists of four phases:

Data collection

Structuring data into customer journeys.

Modelling

Build and automate data-driven attribution models.

Insight gathering

Visualise attribution outputs and then gain insights.

Experimentation

Based on the insights, changes are made to the campaigns through experiments within marketing channels and budgets. This is the step where actual business value is generated.

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A smart supply and demand model

Randstad wanted to eliminate or reduce media spend for vacancies that already receive a lot of supply from the market, in order to reduce unnecessary costs.

Our solution: the demand and supply model. This model uses data sources from the job feed, Randstad’s own database, and Google Analytics to generate the required input variables.

The raw data is then transferred to BigQuery, the data warehouse in Google Cloud Platform, and a fill score is calculated on a daily basis. These scores are sent to various databases for the marketing and IT teams to use, helping Randstad to be more data-driven as an organisation:

  • Online marketing optimisation: the scores are used to determine whether a vacancy should be pushed to paid channels. When the score of the demand and supply model exceeds a certain threshold, it is no longer pushed. The vacancy can however still remain active, but then has a higher chance to receive applicants through organic channels.
  • Platform optimisation: the scores can be used for activation on the Randstad website. Jobs that are harder to fill are placed on specific pages to generate more traction.

Data-driven, efficient and cost-saving

The results

The tailor-made solutions we developed together with Randstad helped the organisation to:

  • Become more data-driven;
  • Be more efficient with its media budget;
  • Improve the online user experience of potential or existing candidates.

Questions?

Director of Data, CRO & Insights

Matt Lacey

Wilson

Refreshing a century-old brand for today’s world

Alongside DEPT®, Wilson repositioned themselves and authored a proactive, authentic mission for the brand and business: “empower every human to live life like an athlete.” 

On this foundation, we set out to refresh the brand identity and execute a digital launch strategy for Wilson Sportswear from concept through production.

The need to stand for something 

Wilson, the iconic American sporting goods brand, came to us at an inflection point.

The company had been at the centre of sport for over a century, making world-class hard goods like balls, bats, rackets, clubs, and gloves to give athletes an edge. While their products were well-known by athletes around the world, they were preparing to launch their first-ever apparel line and recognised that the brand needed to stand for something bigger.

We started by shaking down the brand through a visual audit and interviews with employees and athletes to understand brand perception and the role that sport plays in their lives. 

We learned unequivocally that sports matter. They add meaning to our lives. They teach us things. 

How to persist. How to work together. How to fail. And most importantly, that what lies within is bigger than anything that lies ahead.

You don’t reinvent a 100-year-old brand. You find its soul and give it room to grow.

No primetime athletes.

No cut-throat competition. No winning or losing.

Our creative showed only everyday athletes who play for the love of the sport.

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Redefining athlete

“Athlete” is considered a title reserved for a chosen few. It conjures up ideas of physical ability and big-name fame. When people think “athlete,” they think of the ones they see on TV. Blood, sweat, and tears. Walking out of tunnels, arms raised in victory.

Our go-to-market strategy for the first year of Wilson Sportswear was to challenge these stereotypes by representing the athletic spirit that lives inside us all and plays on without expecting anything in return.

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Spirited collaboration despite the odds

Design and product development, in sync

The timing of our brand identity work allowed BASIC/DEPT® designers to explore and refine a new visual language for the Wilson brand at the same time their internal teams developed the inaugural Sportswear collection. As a result, we were able to influence everything from packaging to hang tags, even branding on the collection itself. 

Brand guidelines 

Empowering a global team to create with long-term consistency. We crafted an all-new brand book consisting of a design system, photography guidelines, and company culture material. 

Social launch 

A familiar format to carry on the conversation. For year one, we proposed orienting the brand around biweekly “drops.” This construct was proven in the category and gave Wilson a way to establish a heartbeat of product stories based on cultural moments, capsules, and collaborations.

Remote content production

The restraints of the pandemic didn’t hold us back. We were able to safely plan and produce multi-day shoots in LA to sustain the launch phase and months of drops to follow. 

Questions?

Producer, Brand & Advertising NL

Kirsten Keller

Paula’s Choice

A new affiliate programme for branding and performance

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The power of partnerships within affiliate marketing relies on accurate data insights. Unilever-owned international beauty brand, Paula’s Choice, teamed up with DEPT® to launch an affiliate programme to reach new customers, while forging stronger bonds with existing influencers. Success was brought to life through the platform Partnerize, bridging the gap between performance and branding.

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A new affiliate programme

Paula’s Choice stands for fair skincare. With each product backed by scientific research and unlimited ambition, the brand is growing rapidly. This growth led the company to reevaluate its affiliate programme, which led to two main goals being established: 

01 Create an extra revenue stream based on content
02 Reach new customers through affiliate collaborations

We set up the affiliate program in Partnerize as broadly as possible. Partnerships were established with both traditional affiliate publishers and influencers with whom the PR team of Paula’s Choice had already built good relationships. In addition, Partnerize provides additional data insights into product performance and customers that were previously untapped.

Paulas Choice Influencer campaign

Our approach

Affiliate for branding and performance

Valuable data and specific target groups

Strong PR and affiliate collaboration

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Reach specific target groups and create additional revenue streams with an affiliate programme

Results

The partnership between DEPT® and Paula’s Choice produced an affiliate programme that hit all main goals within three months of the launch.

  • 40% of affiliate revenue was generated by content publishers at the beginning of the customer journey, of which 36% was through influencers
  • MoM turnover increased from 43% to peak at +94%
  • 82% of those purchasing through the affiliate programme were new customers

Combining the strengths of performance and influencer marketing to build on strong existing partnerships, our strategy contributed to the growth of additional sales and the brand’s customer base.

Questions?

Strategy Director

Lizzie Powell

Fiit

From start-up to the UK’s most used fitness app

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Doing a workout of your preference whenever you want, wherever you want. A dream for many. Thanks to Fiit, this dream has become a reality for many fitness beginners and enthusiasts. Since launching as a start-up with a unique business plan, it has grown to be the most used fitness app in the UK. How did they get there? DEPT® and Byte (part of Dept) gave them a little push in the right direction.

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Making fitness accessible to everyone, everywhere

Fiit is a fitness app with the goal to make the world’s best fitness classes accessible to everyone, everywhere. From intensive HIIT workouts to peaceful yoga classes – the app offers it all. To measure its success, Fiit depends on free trials. But in the highly competitive fitness app market, how can you stand out?

The idea and business plan were there, but the company still needed a well-defined digital marketing strategy to reach its goals. This is where DEPT® and Byte (part of Dept) came into play. We joined forces to help Fiit with their social, search and affiliate strategies.

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Our way of working

Social is key

Entering the world of TikTok

Paid search and affiliate marketing

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Taking over the UK

Together with Fiit, we set up marketing strategies that have shown incredible results, with the indication that Fiit is taking over the UK when it comes to the world of fitness:

  • Most downloaded fitness app in the UK
  • Most used fitness app in the UK
  • Highest 30 day retention rate in the UK

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What’s next?

Being the most used fitness app in the UK has brought Fiit one step closer to reaching its goal. But, this incredible result is not where Fiit’s journey ends. 

We will continue working closely together with Fiit to launch their hardware products by moving into e-commerce, while investigating possibilities to roll-out in  more countries and move them towards becoming the most used fitness app worldwide.

Questions?

Strategy Director

Lizzie Powell

Jotun

A complex multi-site, multi-lingual migration to Optimizely

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Headquartered in Norway and represented in more than 100 countries, Jotun is a global paint manufacturing company that specialises in decorative, marine, protective and powder coatings. The £1.94 billion turnover company operates 38 production facilities and 67 companies across the world. The team turned to DEPT® to advise on CMS selection and migrate all 91 variations of its B2B and B2C websites, including more than 60,000 pages, to a new Optimizely solution. 

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Scoping the challenge

As a global manufacturer of paint products for both the industrial and home segments, Jotun has distinct B2B and B2C sites with radically different purposes and requirements. The primary purpose of the consumer site is to provide inspiration and stimulate in-store demand, which is done through beautiful imagery, interactivity and design ideas, supported by practical guidance such as product information and how-to guides.

Jotun’s trade site serves as a customer portal where dealers and distributors can log in to access personalised tools, product and technical information to expand their knowledge of Jotun products and accelerate their own business operations. Products, tools and content are dynamically displayed to individual users relevant to their sector, as well as personalised messaging and account information. 

The aim of the project was to source a new technology solution and migrate all 91 (and increasing) country and language versions of the B2C and B2B sites within 12 months.

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Finding a future ready solution

With wide ranging requirements and defined future plans, Jotun needed to migrate to a truly versatile, future-ready solution. Following a thorough analysis of the company’s current and upcoming requirements, an in-depth platform comparison and proof-of-concept review, Jotun identified Optimizely as the optimal platform to meet their needs. 

While the existing B2B and B2C platforms had been built on the SDL Tridion CMS, Optimizely’s DXP (digital experience platform) provided the flexibility and opportunity for Jotun to accelerate its digital capabilities in the future. 

As well as providing an improved CMS editor experience, the DXP has strong content and commerce offerings that the team could utilise to lay the foundations for Jotun’s future website improvements. The platform also handles multiple websites and languages with ease, and provides a range of hosting options, including fully managed cloud with Microsoft Azure, to help minimise overhead for the internal IT teams.

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Discovery deep dive

Having worked with Jotun since 2016 to build its existing platforms, DEPT® understood the complexity of the business and its goals. DEPT® is also an expert in developing large scale content management solutions, making the team well placed to not only consult Jotun on the optimum CMS choice, but to manage the complex migration. 

Although DEPT® was already familiar with Jotun’s digital operations, the discovery phase was essential to fully understand the current landscape, authoring needs, non-functional requirements, and determine the technology architecture and integrations required for the future state. 

Through a range of workshops, we conducted a page and component audit to understand and document all templates, features and functions. This helped us to understand where and how often they were used across the sites and informed the new technical specification. 

We reviewed SEO to develop a specific migration strategy that would ensure no equity was lost, as well as analytics to understand requirements of the new sites and ensure all tagging specification was integrated ahead of the live date. We also ran sessions with end users so that we could recreate what they liked about the existing set up, and remedy elements that they found frustrating. 

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Architecting a flexible technical solution

Once the existing landscape and future needs had been fully reviewed within discovery, DEPT®’s technical experts were in a position to architect the optimum solution to meet all security and non-functional requirements. To form the basis of the build, they produced a specification to detail all of the required elements, the approach to each, and the overall technical approach. 

The project was somewhat simplified by the fact that we had initially architected both the B2B and B2C solutions in a headless fashion, utilising React.JS for the front end and SDL Tridion for the back end. Having the front and back ends decoupled in this way meant we could proceed with the CMS migration with little work to the React application, integrating Optimizely via an abstracted API layer.

Maximising functionality

01 Enabling access and personalisation

02 Optimizely Find

03 Combining content and commerce

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Complex content migration

Through DEPT®’s in-depth approach to discovery, where its content specialists had direct access to the existing CMS, conducted visual reviews, and discussed needs with content editors, the team had a strong grasp of content needs to develop an effective migration plan. 

When it came to the main task at hand, content migration, one of the main challenges we identified during the discovery phase was that SDL Tridion is a component based system, allowing editors to build pages from a range of components, whereas Optimizely is a page based solution, where editors can add/amend content on pre-built page templates.

Content migration is already the riskiest phase and the one most likely to cause delay, particularly when handling the page volume that Jotun has; but this added an extra layer of difficulty, as regional sites often had vastly different page layouts for the same page type on the global site, making automation of page migration almost impossible without major error. 

Through a series of content audits, our specialists identified more than 35 page templates and +100 components that had been used without standardisation across different market sites. To ensure the effective migration of the 35 templates across all pages, we first implemented a tiering system to identify the highest-lowest value pages, and therefore highest-lowest risk pages, depending on the structural complexity and prominence of the page. 

From here, we were able to identify nine page formats that were being used most consistently across the vast majority of the 60,000 pages, where we could run automated scripts to test for any variances in page structure and migrate these lower risk pages. The remaining, higher risk, pages, of which there were around 800, were manually reviewed and migrated by DEPT® and Jotun’s content editors. 

DEPT® quickly became embedded in Jotun’s marketing team and experts on its content management. Our specialists delivered more than 20 training sessions to Jotun’s content editors in regional offices across the world, to ensure a smooth transition to the new CMS.

Results

DEPT® is proud of the part it is playing in Jotun’s digital journey. After the successful migration of all 91 sites and 60,000 pages from SDL Tridion to Optimizely, Jotun’s new digital architecture is more efficient and effective for both internal and external users. Greater standardisation across sites adds strength to the brand, and the foundations have been laid to accelerate Jotun’s digital activity in the months and years ahead.

Questions?

Managing Director UK

Brian Robinson

Capti

An immersive digital experience for the future of at-home fitness

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As a longtime player in the fitness industry, Interactive Fitness Holdings, Inc. is pushing the field forward with a new smart bike that transforms at-home cycling into an immersive adventure. From heart rate training and instructor-led classes to dodging dragons or riding under the sea, the Capti bike merges physical cycling with an ever-evolving digital platform that offers something for everyone.

They tasked DEPT® with designing an intriguing digital experience to capture pre-orders and generate excitement around the smart bike’s launch.

Because Capti leverages immersive design and gamification to draw their audience into the world of fitness, we approached their website with a similar sense of fun and adventure.

We fused imagination and cutting-edge technology to reflect the innovative nature of their brand while positioning them at the unique intersection of home fitness and virtual gaming.

To gain an in-depth understanding of the smart bike and the vision for the new brand, we conducted an immersion workshop with the Capti team and tested out the beta product.

We then synthesised our collective insights to set measurable goals, establish clear expectations for our collaboration, and develop a strong foundation for the new digital experience.

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Elevating the physical product with digital design

With a focus on development, integrations, QA, and animations, we designed a digital experience alive with whimsical creatures and engaging content to drive demand and encourage users to explore the Capti brand.

We worked alongside the members of Character and Outerspace to elevate Capti’s look through an intentional color palette, elegant silhouettes, powerful videography, and a visual language reminiscent of video games—down to the glitchy green highlights and futuristic typography.

We showed off the unique physical features of the bike and its interactive technology, from the 24” touch screen to the Terrain Adapted Resistance™. Our teams also developed a timeline to illustrate the evolution of their products, leveraging the company’s history to build trust and anticipation for their newest release.

Building a narrative to drive pre-sales

Through rich animations and renders, engaging lifestyle content, and digestible copy, we developed a dynamic narrative around the smart bike’s functionality.

We pulled stats, graphics, and animations from the games and incorporated them throughout the site to educate people about the product and inspire them to join the Capti community. We also used the bold aesthetics of the new brand to create a cohesive experience across platforms, fully immersing users in the Capti world from the moment they discover the website to their first smart bike adventure.

Questions?

Head of Marketing US

Kristin Cronin

SteelSeries

Resonating with gamers across the globe

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SteelSeries has been a leader in e-sports gear for 20 years, and its contribution to e-sports gear has changed the game forever. The brand can pride itself on trophy-like achievements such as creating the world’s first ever glass mousepad and designing the most awarded headset in gaming. Having cemented cemented its position as an e-sports pioneer, SteelSeries turned to DEPT® to help tell its ‘Glory Story’ in celebration of the brand’s 20th anniversary.

Until 2021, SteelSeries’ rapid growth had mainly been driven organically by its unparalleled product performance. The successful brand hadn’t started exploring the golden opportunities connected to claiming its brand story and basing it on its unique history and the immense role the brand has played, and continues to play, as a challenger of the status quo in the world of e-sports gaming gear.


As SteelSeries reached its 20th anniversary in 2021, it became clear that there was no better time for the brand to tell the world its Glory Story. For two decades, SteelSeries had fuelled the gaming industry by creating innovative new products, designed specifically for e-sports and passionate gamers everywhere. With millions of new gamers around the world constantly entering the market, the brand wanted to find a compelling way to share this heritage. Together with SteelSeries, we crafted an innovative campaign that resonated with gamers across the globe and turned 20 years of brand history into a 20% increase in brand awareness.

The strategy: making ads that gamers want to share

It was clear to both SteelSeries and DEPT® that the brand’s rich legacy was an untapped goldmine of growth opportunities. However, as we ventured into this uncharted territory with a wealth of material to choose from, a number of challenges presented themselves. The main questions were:

  • How do we turn this into a cool and engaging story rather than boring self-praise?
  • How do we strategically pick the right stories or achievements from the SteelSeries legacy?
  • How do we best communicate these awesome stories to gamers who do not tend to watch 30-60 second flow TV commercials?

First and foremost, we needed to find ways to connect with different types of games. It was clear that relevance was the key to success, so finding the right messages and choosing the right channels was crucial to driving and maintaining interest.

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The solution: ad sequencing with tailored storylines

To craft compelling content that would appeal to the target audience, we focused on three elements: enlisting leading creatives; targeting two core target audiences; and using ad sequencing for tactical storytelling.

Awesome creatives

Ensuring that the campaign would feel just as cool as the digital realms in which gamers immerse themselves was paramount. SteelSeries enlisted top-notch creatives to portray the world that gamers know and love; the world of gaming.

Smart targeting for smarter story telling

We identified two core gamer groups and custom built the narratives of the brand story to match their specific characteristics:

  • PC console gamers: we showed them that we understand them, that SteelSeries is, has always been, and will always be, a by-gamers-for-gamers brand. This was visualised through a series of gaming moments that make gamers feel glorious. We also showed them our long line of gaming innovations and how they’ve continued to elevate the performance of gamers everywhere.
  • E-sports gamers: we showed them our huge involvement, support and commitment to the e-sports community, centred around the fact that e-sports pros have won more prize money with SteelSeries than any other brand.

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Ad sequencing for tactical storytelling in the digital world where gamers live

Having outlined the big idea and how we wanted to customise this message to each of our audience types, we wanted to ensure that we not only met the gamers on their preferred platforms; we also wanted the campaign to stand out as the extraordinary story that it was. It had to be more than just another marketing campaign. 

To achieve this, we made use of a number of tactical elements. With first-class visual content, strong storytelling and bold, attention-grabbing statements such as “if you suck, that’s a problem we can’t solve” in place, what we needed was to get gamers to start watching.

Initial testing of non-skippable ads showed that these did not achieve the significant impact that we were looking for,  so we needed to find a different tactic to pique the interest of our target audiences. Using ad sequencing on YouTube allowed us to divide storylines into shorter segments and craft them into sequences tailored to each target audience to increase the chance of catching the gamers’ attention. 

Moreover, if a gamer skipped an ad, we used customised messaging based on the gamer’s previous interaction with the campaign with ad copy such as “we know you skipped our last ad, but you’re really missing out”. As results quickly showed, combining ad sequencing with this approach significantly increased the chance of catching the gamers’ attention and seeing them complete the remainder of the sequence.

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The results: 85 million views and a 20% increase in brand awareness

Fast forward a year, and the campaign has been watched more than 85 million times across 30 countries. Moreover, gamers expressed their love for the campaign across social media with comments such as “the first ad I’ve watched in its entirety” and “this is the mother of advertisements”, among hundreds of others. 

And the result? A 20% lift in brand awareness, significantly above YouTube and Facebook benchmarks. With the Glory Story campaign, SteelSeries has succeeded in claiming their brand history and harnessing it to boost brand awareness among their core audience. And it’s only the beginning, says SteelSeries CMO Kathryn Martinez:

“Ultimately, it’s been incredible to see that we have a story worth spreading. It took a leap of faith, but thanks to this campaign we know there’s an audience out there that really wants to hear from us. And we have so much more to say – there are many more levels to this game.”

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Questions?

Strategy Director

Lizzie Powell

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