Jigsaw launches high-profile pro-immigration campaign

Jigsaw has nailed its colours firmly to the mast with a new campaign that celebrates immigration as a good thing in a UK market where the status of EU nationals post-Brexit is still unclear.


Jigsaw


The company’s campaign is part of its overall AW17 marketing strategy and includes print, social media and digital ads plus a complete takeover of Oxford Circus tube station in London and the website of The Times newspaper.

Other activity include a link-up with the Ancestry genealogy website that sees it giving its staff genealogy tests to show that there are 45 different nationalities working for the company and generally how diverse the fashion industry is.

The retailer launched its Style and Truth positioning as long as three years ago and this latest campaign is part of that strategy of positioning the brand as one with a strong social purpose.

The new creative work has come from its agency The Corner. It feature models of different ethnicities overlaid with a heart and the word ‘Immigration’. Next to them is a manifesto that says “British style isn't 100% British. In fact, there's no such thing as 100% British. Or 100% Dutch, French, American, Asian. Without immigration, we'd be selling potato sacks.”

The campaign comes with the hashtag #heartimmigration, and has attracted a variety of reviews on Twitter but with most of them being positive.

Jigsaw boss Peter Ruis said: “Fashion doesn't operate in a bubble. We could just talk about clothes, but with what is going on around us it seems hypocritical and superficial to not accept the debt we owe to immigration in its broadest sense.”

The company was also quoted saying that by embracing a subject that is a controversial political issue, the campaign represents a risk to the brand, but it’s “a risk worth taking.”

In fact, a number of surveys have shown that consumers, especially the Millennial age group, expect the brands they buy to have a social vision and also that change can often be  created more effectively through such companies rather than individuals’ actions.

Jigsaw marketing head Alex Kelly was quoted as saying immigration is a controversial issue in British politics right now “but if you risk making people potentially disagree with you then I think it’s worth it as that still creates a powerful emotional engagement.”

Kelly also told Marketing Week that the company didn’t want to approach this issue with a “Pepsi-Kendall Jenner mentality to make a political statement just for the sake of it. It is too risky doing something like this if you can’t back it up and will end up doing more damage than good.”

He explained that the Jigsaw brand was “built on immigration” with founder John Robinson having started in the 1970s by bringing an Afghan coat back to the UK and that products today could include Mongolian wool, Turkish satin, Chinese silk and Italian buttons.

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