Following the success of its Feel Merino marketing campaign last year, The Woolmark Company is back with a renewed campaign.
The campaign aims to increase North American consumers’ awareness of merino wool as a natural fiber that is soft on the skin and ideal for sports, outdoor and leisure pursuits, according to Woolmark, the Australian Wool Innovation’s (AWI) marketing arm. The Feel Merino campaign aims to drive purchases of commercially available merino wool performance wear on e-commerce giant Amazon.
Sportswear continues to be a fast-growing apparel sector with strong demand in outdoor sectors such as hiking and biking. More recently, due to Covid-related lockdowns, the demand for leisurewear has also increased, Woolmark said.
Merino wool’s inherent qualities, such as next-to-skin softness, thermoregulation, breathability and odor resistance, make the fiber a good choice for sports, outdoor and leisure apparel. However, research during the past few years showed there is a persistent and outdated misconception among the average consumer, especially in North America, that wool is “warm and itchy” and only suitable for very traditional sectors, Woolmark said.
Last year’s Feel Merino campaign helped to combat this misconception, but Woolmark believes new efforts can further educate consumers.
The campaign in 2021 notched 10 million video views, 144 million impressions, a 413 percent increase in organic searches for “merino wool: and a 3.1 part percent uplift in Merino wool purchase intent, with 57 percent of customers who purchased product on Amazon new-to-brand customers, showcasing that the campaign turned those who previously did not purchase or consider merino wool performance wear into active purchasers.
The relaunched campaign in the U.S. and Canada targets millennials, and creates a new and modern narrative for merino wool as a soft-feeling but hard-working performance fiber.
All of the campaign’s marketing activity is directed toward guiding consumers to the Woolmark Feel Merino store within Amazon.com and Amazon.ca, where they are steered toward merino wool products they can buy from brand partners. These brands include Woolly, Merino.tech, Smartwool, Minus33, Pearl, iZUMi, Meriwool, Ridge Merino, super.natural, Kari Traa, Western Rise, Falke, Helly Hansen and Meraki. The shop on Amazon.com can be accessed at woolmark.com/feel-merino.
AWI acting CEO John Roberts outlined the Feel Merino marketing campaign’s twin objectives in the lucrative North American market.
“Firstly, there is the educational element–to challenge any outdated perceptions of wool and increase awareness for Merino wool as a natural, modern and innovative performance fiber that is super soft against the skin,” Roberts said. “Secondly, and crucially, the Feel Merino campaign aims to prompt action amongst consumers and get them purchasing merino wool performance wear products via Amazon.com. Partnering with the world’s largest e-commerce retailer, Amazon, gives the campaign the perfect media platform for Australia’s premium fiber, merino wool. It is also the perfect channel to drive consumers towards a wide range of sports, outdoor and leisurewear products that they can purchase.”
The marketing campaign includes promotional content for the specific performance apparel categories of running, biking, hiking and climbing, as well as working, but this year the apparel categories have expanded to also include golf, snow, yoga, loungewear and childrenswear. The promotional content is being used across the digital and social channels of The Woolmark Company, as well as on the Woolmark Feel Merino store on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
This year’s campaign again includes the Feel Merino Anthem, a 60-second film that aims to capture people’s attention and provide them with a new understanding about merino wool’s natural versatility and suitability for performance wear. The Feel Merino campaign runs through to the end of February.