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How Facebook and Axel Arigato brought couture to the masses

Facebook ads helped Swedish footwear and fashion brand Axel Arigato bring affordable couture to the masses by engaging customers directly, making it Campaign and Facebook's pick of the month

How Facebook and Axel Arigato brought couture to the masses

Axel Arigato is a contemporary Swedish brand selling footwear and fashion to the young and bold. Launched in 2014, founders Albin Johansson and Max Svärdh spotted a gap in the market for couture-quality footwear at affordable prices – and by foregoing traditional channels and engaging with customers directly, they achieved it.

After establishing its first store in London in 2016 – and with branches in Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Stockholm opening in the past year – the brand is growing fast. To continue this journey, Axel Arigato decided to seek out new audiences on Facebook and Instagram.

How was this achieved?
The brand launched a four-week campaign in the UK, targeting a broad audience of men and women with dynamic ads. The campaign ran in formats including Facebook and Instagram link ads, the collection format, video ads and Instagram Stories.

Broad targeting enabled the brand to reach people who had expressed interest in its products (or similar products), even if they hadn’t yet visited its website. Lookalike audience targeting was also used to identify people with a similar profile to existing online UK customers.

Dynamic ads showcasing products from its catalogue were also used to re-target and remind people about products they had already browsed on the website but didn’t purchase.

What were the results?
The target audience reacted overwhelmingly positively to the campaign, with an estimated incremental 650,000 people in the UK now being aware of the Axel Arigato brand as a direct result of its ads on Facebook and Instagram. Axel Arigato was also able to influence an estimated incremental 640,000 people to consider buying fashion products from its brand.

The campaign, which ran from 18 March to 18 April 2019, was a success when measured by a Facebook Brand Lift study. The solution uses a gold-standard experimental design in measuring the impact of advertising on brand marketing efforts by randomising the target audience into two groups – one that can see the ads (the test group) and another that is held back from seeing them (the control group) – and then comparing the results to measure the uplift in brand metrics. This rigorous measurement methodology provides more confidence in the results and helps brands measure the real success of a campaign.

Success in numbers

• 26-point lift in ad recall
• 19-point lift in brand awareness
• 17-point lift in purchase intent

Albin Johansson, co-founder and CEO, Axel Arigato
"Using an incremental study with dynamic ad solutions on the Facebook platform enabled us to learn more about our target group, how to reach it effectively over time and still drive short-term results from our direct marketing spend. This shows the power of online marketing in achieving great results and building growth."

Jeremy Lee, contributing editor, Campaign
"This is a great example of how to build a brand in a quick and relatively inexpensive way. With distinctive creative and a broad targeting strategy that included rigorous measurement and optimisation, Axel Arigato has established itself as a premium brand in a sector where obtaining such credentials has traditionally taken years."

Ludvig Hedlund, client partner, ecommerce, Facebook
"It is very exciting to see these brilliant results from a relatively new brand operating in such a competitive space. Axel Arigato has proven that it is possible to effectively build a premium brand and create a strong demand for its products via digital advertising that achieves both broad reach and targeted messaging."