Interactive Video Drives Millennial Engagement for Cotton Inc. - eMarketer

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Interactive Video Drives Millennial Engagement for Cotton Inc.

November 11, 2016

Jill Orsini
Advertising Director
Cotton Incorporated

Interactive videos, an advertiser’s version of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, can deliver valuable data on consumer preferences and serve as engaging digital focus groups. Jill Orsini, advertising director of Cotton Incorporated, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about what the company learned about its millennial audience through a recent interactive video project.

eMarketer: How did you incorporate interactive video into your marketing efforts?

Jill Orsini: Interactive videos became an extension of our Above the Line campaign and our “Your Favorite for a Reason” ads. The original campaign was about how people’s cotton items make them feel with that little extra breathability, easy wear and easy care.

Then came the idea of interactive videos, where users would be able to choose cotton-rich outfits for a heroine as she dressed for a typical day. There were 18 different scenarios—morning, night, working out, walking the dog, dressing for the office and others.

“Then came the idea of interactive videos, where users would be able to choose cotton-rich outfits for a heroine as she dressed for a typical day.”

eMarketer: What made you want to experiment with interactive video?

Orsini: The elusive millennial audience is everywhere and nowhere all at once, and they’re evolving with the trends. We wanted to go where they are. Interactive video was appealing in its ability to offer consumers the freedom to create their own fashion journey while giving us granular data.

We were also able to make it shoppable by driving consumers back to The Fabric of Our Lives site, where they could learn more about cotton, be inspired and shop the looks from the video.

eMarketer: What goals were you trying to achieve by using interactive videos?

Orsini: With [interactive] video, consumers are constantly in lean-in mode, meaning they’re engaged and connected to our brand. This helps move them down the purchase funnel, which is ultimately our goal.

Cotton Incorporated is really unique in that we don’t actually make, sell or buy anything. We advertise to remind consumers that they have a choice when it comes to shopping for their home and clothing apparel, and that ingredients matter. We want to make sure that cotton remains top of mind when consumers make product decisions.

eMarketer: What are some of the unique types of data and analytics that you can get out of interactive video ads?

Orsini: On traditional videos, we can track time spent, views and clickthrough rates. With interactive video, we can gather more complex engagement data that reveals deeper insights about our audience.

For example, working out in the morning was a more popular scenario choice than waking up with coffee or taking the dog for a walk. It’s interesting because it supports proprietary data, which suggests consumers are interested in seeking cotton performance activewear. It’s great insight that helps us create more content around this product category.

eMarketer: How do these insights inform other areas of marketing?

Orsini: Developing more content around these insights is one key area of focus. Additionally, Cotton Incorporated is a nonprofit organization, so we report back to our board members and constituents several times a year.

A lot of them are importers and represent brands and retailers that use US cotton. Insight from interactive content gives us an opportunity to show them what resonates with consumers and what types of styles, silhouettes, looks, colors and prints millennial women like the most.

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