Vaughan Mills Style Agents web series not-so-secret mission

Online-only campaign targets niche fashionista demo where they live.

Digital agency VMG Cinematic’s web-only campaign for Vaughan Mills is finding its 18- to 40-something female target online via an extension drive-to webisode digital mission. With production, creative, media planning and media strategy handled through the Toronto-based agency, the campaign spans a web TV series (Style Agents), a microsite, Twitter feeds, podcasts, style blogs, and a YouTube channel strategy designed to acquire Canadian female viewers and build engagement. 

‘[Vaughan Mills] wanted to target this particular demographic where they would normally be found, which is increasingly online, so we utilized things like Facebook, Twitter, popular social networking mediums to connect with these people in their own space,’ Evan Aagaard, CD, VMG tells MiC. ‘It’s a very targeted campaign. We tried to do that right from the get-go because our feeling is that too often digital and online is an untargeted strategy: people just hope that something great will happen if they upload a video to YouTube, but we’re much more about putting the science into digital marketing and viral distribution.’

With 10 eps planned for the series, one to be released per month corresponding to retail style seasons until 2010, the web series features fashion experts Janette Ewen and Afiya Francisco as Style Agents who explore Vaughan Mills’ fashion offerings on special ‘shopping missions’ to create perfect outfits. The series was designed to showcase the variety of Vaughan Mills fashion retailers via a branded reality entertainment experience. The microsite was designed to be a home for the series with more info about the outfits and items featured in the episodes, and blogs from both Janette and Afiya describing their shopping missions in detail are included. The hosts are also on Twitter, tweeting about the latest styles and to let their followers know every time a new episode gets released.

Since the Vaughan Mills Style Agents campaign launched in May, the series, distributed through YouTube, iTunes,,,, has received total cumulative views (including microsite views) of over 65,000, over 95% of which are Canadian. Aagaard says 100,000 cumulative views for the series is expected by Oct. 1st with the next episode, coming out at the end of September and covering fall fashion.

‘This kind of target audience is easier to find online versus print where you can throw up an ad and who knows who’s going to see that,’ explains Aagaard, ’maybe a few thousand of the people you want will see it, maybe they won’t. When you’re signed into Facebook, you’re signed in with your age, and all of your specifics, so it’s an easier way to target a very niche audience,’ says Aagaard.

Utilizing the Facebook advertising space, from which 63% of the series viewership is being directed, the ads prompt users to watch the video, share the video or visit the microsite. Comscore data was also obtained to determine which fashion websites are most visited by the target demographic and became involved in some of the forums promoting the series.