Back to Wool

4 April 2012

The origins of Australian Merino formed the story for a recent joint-marketing campaign with Spanish retail giant Springfield, hitting nine countries and more than 400 stores across Europe.

An image used in the European Back to Wool advertising campaign
An image used in the European Back to Wool advertising campaign

The Back to Wool campaign aimed to promote the benefits of Merino and the value of the Woolmark brand to a younger, more urban, generation of fashion-conscious consumers. It was inspired by the trend to a more authentic and traditional lifestyle, living urban life in a more natural and relaxed way.

Founded in 1988, Springfield is present in more than 45 countries worldwide with 750 stores.

The Back to Wool campaign, initiated by The Woolmarks Company’s Spanish team, aimed to spread the values of wool through in-store displays and promotional events in Spain, Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Poland and Portugal. It also gave three lucky Springfield customers the chance to win a trip to Australia.

The Woolmark Company project manager Dolores Naharro headed up this campaign and said it provided good exposure for the Woolmark brand as well a high volume of interest in wool from young consumers across the nine targeted countries.

“The campaign included in-store displays with the Woolmark logo visible at Springfield cashiers,” Mrs Naharro said. “The stores also had stickers bearing a wool ball with the words ‘Back to Wool’ in each dressing room as well as cards promoting an online contest, wool and the Woolmark brand.

“Training material concerning wool was also sent to Springfield staff across 438 stores, so that they were able to communicate the nature of wool production, history and quality to customers.”

The campaign attracted a good deal of media coverage both online and in magazines such as Elle, Glamour, Cuore and El Economista.

Mrs Naharro said the campaign had a big online presence, with Springfield’s website showcasing links to the We Love Wool and Campaign for Wool websites. A microsite for the campaign was also developed by Springfield, featuring the Woolmark logo, with the site available in four languages.

“The campaign was followed and covered by fashion bloggers. A microsite was established with information about wool’s benefits and how to care for your woollen garments. There were also posts on Springfield’s Facebook page as well as video knitting for viral marketing.

“Springfield customers also had the possibility to participate in an online contest, where three lucky winners would be rewarded with a return trip to Sydney with a tour into the world of Australian wool, an on-farm stay and VIP tickets to the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

Contestants were asked to adopt one out of five Australian Merinos and select an original name for this sheep, with the most original names the lucky winners.”

The three lucky winners and their chosen names are Maria Cortes from Spain with Merin Poppins, Pedro Andrade from Portugal with Wooly Dooly and Hungary’s Zsanett Suto with the name Wool-E.