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Manifest Stockholm has been the global PR partner for Houdini Sportswear since November 2016; responsible for all press office activity, including product and feature pitching, alongside brand and communications development.
We began by defining the brand strategy through our BrandManifesto process. The BrandManifesto helped to ladder up Houdini’s functional benefits to a brand essence of ‘hope’ – something ownable and proactive in a space dominated by ‘preaching’ brands, or labels defined by the scale of the problem rather than the solution.
From this, we helped Houdini rearticulate its mission, vision and values – not only developing them for internal stakeholders but directly bridging them into a creative platform for communications.
Following this, we mapped these components as practical signposts to use in everyday decision-making, as well as to help steer creative communications, both now and in the future. This manifesto forged the foundations for our groundbreaking press office and social media content services for Houdini.
Houdini aims to inspire a future of sustainable consumption – their goal is to be 100% circularly sustainable, to include both retail and product innovation.
We wanted to bring this to life at Stockholm Fashion Week, hijacking the expectations of a fashion brand with a creative campaign we called the ‘World’s largest fitting room’.
The objective of this campaign was to highlight the fact that there are alternatives to ‘fast fashion’ and that clothes should be designed for experiences, not passing trends.
We offered the opportunity to rent items of clothes instead of purchasing them and allowed customers to ‘try on’ the Houdini range in the biggest changing room ever imagined: The great outdoors.
Every garment in the store became a free-of-charge rental piece and the World, therefore, became the fitting room. This amplified our media potential, as we were the only fashion brand during fashion week promoting a range of clothing we didn’t want you to buy, but instead, try.
Press reach: over 725 830 during Fashion Week – extraordinary for Swedish traditional media – including top tier titles such as Elle.
Social media conversation went through the roof, including record numbers of brand mentions and fantastic user-generated content inspired by the campaign.
The Planetary Boundaries Assessment is the most comprehensive and holistic approach to understanding planetary impact – something reserved for NGOs and local governments. We felt it was time that a private company undertook the process to establish exactly how best to run a business within the boundaries the planet can sustain.
In order to make this a bigger story for media, we broadened the concept. We made the hugely detailed report media-friendly through data visualisation and a programme of newsplan headlines that gained sustained traction over 3 months.
We then developed a video, edited specifically for social media, that brought to life not just the results of the assessment, but also its motivation: to establish Houdini as a global pioneer in sustainable design.
Total press reach in Sweden topped 3.5m and our video was the most viewed piece of Houdini content last year.
When Houdini opened their first store outside of Sweden, Manifest supported with the event concept and as well as inviting relevant press and influencers, in Oslo, Norway.
The launch gained national media recognition across both outdoor and fashion press, as well as acknowledgement in design titles for the store’s exclusive interior design and architecture.