Brand Spotlight – What we can learn from Protein World’s campaign with Khloe Kardashian

Let’s get something out of the way upfront - Protein World is arguably my favorite brand based on their marketing campaigns and fresh tone shared through their social media accounts.  I also use their products – they are effective and yummy!  I have recommended this brand to many of my friends and family, and while I normally shy away from highlighting brands I have a personal connection to, they are a great example of a brand that is executing successful marketing and advertising campaign.  We can all benefit from that. 

I’ve been following this UK-based health & wellness brand for a couple years now and they’ve just hit a homerun with a “Go Big or Go Home” campaign that not only puts them on the map in a saturated industry, but is in line with the same fierce brand personality their existing fan base has grown to love.

#TBT to Protein World’s bold 2015 “Are You Beach Body Ready?” advertising campaign.  The brand received international attention (mostly a lot of heat) for using a sexy model in a bright yellow bikini in their ads promoting their weight loss program.  Body shaming and how women are objectified by society is a hot button – now more than ever.  Every brand is wary of the trolls just waiting for a misstep, so they are extremely careful when it comes to any mention (or criticism) of the female shape.  And when critics ripped into Protein World, instead of cowering down, apologizing, and having their ads pulled, Protein World stood tall and strong behind their brand messaging.  In some cases, their responses flat out mocked their “haters” and celebrated the record-breaking sales brought on by all the publicity! 

Protein World promotes a healthy and active lifestyle, nutrition supplements that support that goal, and leverages influencers to share their message through social media.  They have loyal fans and haters alike.  Protein World is also a fierce and fearless brand that can talk-the-talk AND walk-the-walk.  So when it came to their “New Year, New You” campaign promoting their 30 Day Challenge, who better to represent their brand and voice than a public figure that faces that same type of love/hate on a daily basis – Khloe Kardashian.

Whether you love or hate the Kardashians, you cannot deny their success.  Through family scandals, breakups, and media frenzies, Khloe has reinvented her mind, body, and soul since she first entered the Hollywood spotlight.  I could give you a slew of reasons about why Khloe Kardashian and Protein World are a perfect pairing and why this campaign will be a success (the website basically crashed during the campaign launch!), but let’s highlight one overarching theme demonstrated by this successful campaign and many others: 

COMMITMENT. 

In order to have a successful campaign, a brand must COMMIT

to their Voice, Influencers, & Messaging.

Brand Voice & Tone – Protein World has demonstrated strong conviction through their engagement on social media and public statements for C-level executives.  They are confident and consistent with their voice and tone, which indirectly instills confidence within their core consumer about the quality of their product. 

Lesson: Find your voice and stick with it.  If you vary in tone and messaging, your content will not resonate with your consumer – in fact, it will turn them off entirely.  Commit and stick to the script.

Influencer Partnership(s) – Protein World works with numerous influencers and now, most notably, Khloe Kardashian.  They will now reach a wider demographic than with previous partnerships due to her overall reach, international appeal, and younger following.  Her fearless and witty personality, and occasional “clap-back” retorts to heat from the press or fans, aligns with Protein World’s “not backing down” stance and tone.  They have secured Kardashian for 6 months for this particular campaign, which will include countless social media posts from Kardashian, media coverage, and additional assets that will be hard to miss within that timeframe. 

Lesson: Identify influencers that reach your target consumer and match the brand’s lifestyle and tone.  Consumers will not only sense a disingenuous relationship with influencers, they will also notice if the influencers’ tones change within the branded content.  Don’t fall for the “firework effect” and expect an overnight ROI.  These campaigns take multiple posts and time to see the full impact.  Commit to your influencers for a longer engagement to maximize the impact with their fan base.

Campaign Themes & Messaging – Protein World is known for their sass, crisp branding & marketing, and influencer marketing tactics.  This has been consistent throughout their campaigns and has grown over time as the brand matures and continues to expand.

Lesson: A brand’s overall voice and tone shouldn’t vary too much from campaign to campaign, but strengthen and evolve with the brand.  That being said, the individual campaign themes and messaging may diverge - sometimes you have to shake things up!  Regardless of the campaign theme, commit to the associated messaging, tactics, and platforms to maximize the impact.  Campaigns can be short term, but invest and commit to each and every campaign to maximize the reach, impact, and overall ROI.