It's hard to create a campaign that will successfully reach Millennials. We've been inundated with advertising and marketing messages our entire lives and we've become experts at tuning out anything less than relevant. A lot of brands try to be "hip" or "speak the lingo" without doing their homework and wind up accomplishing nothing but a deteriorated brand image. Campaigns that work are created by agencies that do their research and manage to tap into the psyche of the generation as a whole. Although this campaign definitely reaches Gen Y, I think it's aimed at older Gen Y and also younger Gen X (my demo analysis: probably males and females, ages 18-35 living in major metropolitan areas). I must say, I think they really got this one right.
The Banana Republic "City Stories" campaign features nine musicians, each with their own style and story. It's a fully integrated campaign that includes print and outdoor advertisements, direct mail pieces, window displays and a heavy online presence. The website, bananarepublic.com/citystories, is a highly engaging mix of video (music videos and interviews), music, free downloads, and yes, the occasional Banana Republic promotion. The musicians they spotlight are as interesting as they are diverse, and were by no means chosen only for their commercial appeal. They are truly talented by anyone's standards. Here's a sample video of violinist, David Garrett.
Visually this campaign is clean and sophisticated, while conceptually it sends a strong message - without being overbearing. I imagine it will strike a chord with a wide range of people who never looked twice at Banana Republic before. That's a difficult thing to achieve without alienating the existing customer, but I think they managed it flawlessly. The thought and care that went into the creation of this campaign really shines through (listen to me, I'm gushing). I won't say anything else, but I encourage you to go to the website and if nothing else, enjoy some phenomenal free music.