Underwear company Heist has appointed Quiet Storm to handle its advertising without a pitch, briefing the agency to devise a multichannel marketing campaign to build awareness and drive sales of its tights and shapewear.
Quiet Storm’s appointment follows a number of chemistry meetings with Heist, which previously produced its advertising in-house. While the agency and brand are currently focused on a major project for 2020, the relationship could extend beyond this year.
Hannah Craik, Heist’s chief marketing officer, told Campaign that the decision to appoint an agency rather than rely solely on the two-person in-house team boiled down to resource and perspective, "supplementing what we do in-house and we have to accelerate our marketing in the next couple of years".
She added: "So it was about having more brains, and an external perspective, rather than hiring more people."
Heist ran an out-of-home campaign last summer challenging the perception that "shapewear is anti-feminist". While its focus to date has been on out-of-home and digital activity, Craik said Heist is looking to diversify its media mix "incredibly quickly" and "exploring everything from TV to sponsorship".
The objective is to elevate brand awareness ("A lot of people have not heard of the company; we’re not as well known as M&S," Craik said) and a medium such as TV might be the answer, she suggested.
One of the barriers Heist needs to overcome is broadening its appeal beyond consumers in their twenties, "making sure we resonate as much with [older] millennials and Gen X as we are with the youngest end of the market".
The brand is also looking at product diversification, including a new line of underwear due to go into production this year. "We want to move out of peripheral underwear into mainstay products, but hopefully in a way that is different and modern," Craik said.
Rania Robinson, Quiet Storm’s chief executive and managing partner, added: "Heist lives up to its name in its ambition to disrupt a category that has seen little innovation. With a genuinely category-redefining range and a strong purpose, we’re delighted to be helping them achieve the broad-scale recognition they deserve."
Heist was established in 2015 and has a mission to "liberate" women from "disappointing underwear", using space and sports technology to shape its products.