Century 21 on Thursday unveiled a spring campaign, "Who Bought It Best?" that spins the celebrity red-carpet question "Who wore it best?" for ordinary people seeking its off-price apparel treasures.
Shoppers began seeing the campaign in stores, on social media and via targeted digital ads as of Monday, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive. Throughout the spring, ads will run in New York and New Jersey on posters and bus shelter wraps. Commercial spots, emphasizing the retailer's good deals, will run on local New York television and Taxi TV starting in April.
The retailer on April 1 is also launching a social-media driven contest where shoppers can win a $500 Century 21 gift card and a chance to also be featured in the campaign. To enter, customers upload a photo of themselves with their purchases to Instagram, tag the retailer (@Century21stores) and use the hashtag #C21Finds.
Century 21 is a New York City fixture and has been a destination for bargain hunters for more than half a century.
Despite that longevity, the privately owned retailer — CEO Raymond Gindi is one of the founders' sons — hasn't stood still. Last year the company expanded with a concept store on Staten Island (other locations include Lincoln Square, Brooklyn, Queens, Yonkers and Long Island), and earlier this year announced an exclusive collaboration with '90s streetwear brand FUBU.
Now, the retailer is also updating its look, replacing its longstanding red and black colorway for a campaign awash in bright pastels, which will also be featured in its social media and commercial spots. It's emphasizing its New York cred in another important way: The retailer said that it tapped many of its own employees and customers as models, in an effort to showcase "the diverse clientele and team members that make Century 21 so authentically New York," according to the release.
The campaign emphasizes the company's luxury-plus-value proposition with side-by-side comparisons: Every shot features a mirror image of a real Century 21 customer or employee dressed head-to-toe in designer duds, one having bought them at another retailer (presumably at full price) and the other who "bought it best" at Century 21.
"The real star of Who Bought It Best? is the savings," Century 21 Chief Marketing Officer Michael Kustermann said in a statement. "We have such an incredibly diverse and loyal fanbase with customers defining value and luxury in their own way. We wanted this campaign to celebrate the thrill of savings that everyone identifies with our shopping experience."