Wrangler Website: An Accidental Marketing Style That Actually Worked
Three years ago, when wrangler set up a western lifestyle website, the only hope was to generate some buzz for the jeans brand and drive sales. But aside from this, a side benefit had happened. It turned into a very nice advertising business on its own.
Wranglernetwork.com features rodeo and country music content as well as news and was intended as a content marketing ploy to get costumer engaging with the apparel brand.
Cooler brand Yeti and MGM Grand are among the advertisers on the site, which has enjoyed a 100% increase in revenue from ads in 2016, compared to 2015, said a company spokeswoman. Some annual ad deals with brands can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, said Craig Errington, vice president of marketing communications at Wrangler.
The Wrangler Network site started out with a western theme, with content that included live-streamed rodeo events and featured topics like football, Nascar and action sports. Now, the site is expanding its focus to include country music through a new partnership with Universal Music Group. Musician George Strait, who has his own namesake line of Wrangler apparel, recently held the first in a series of country music concerts to be livestreamed on the site.
About one-third of the people who come to the site are between 18 and 34 years old, and about 60% are visiting through mobile devices, said Mr. Errington.
Marketers have turned to alternative branding strategies like native ads and sponsored content to break through in a cluttered digital ad environment where ad-skipping and ad-blocking are on the rise.
Mondelez last year announced a new content strategy, including a live skydiving event titled "Heaven Sent" for Fox, which promoted Stride Gum, as well as a partnership with BuzzFeed to create a new content brand focused on the well-being space.
Wrangler has expanded its ad offering beyond standard banners, to include custom content and sponsorships. Soon after signing on as a "standard advertiser" a year ago, Yeti also began sponsoring a show on the site called "Yeti Wild Rides," which features wild rodeo content. Wrangler's marketing and social teams oversee the online publication, with help from public relations agency French/West/Vaughan and Kentucky-based content company Blue Million. But Mr. Errington said that a dedicated ad sales team could come in handy.