The Challenge

Despite being the first digitally native men’s fashion brand, Bonobos fell prey to traditional category tactics. Growth stagnated, the audience narrowed, and awareness dropped to less than 1%.

the insight

Move from how fashion brands communicate to how men communicate - inspiring and challenging them to stay sharp and find their fit in the world.

Role Models Not Male Models

Our first campaign for Bonobos: “Role Models Not Male Models” launched at the beginning of October 2017.  For Bonobos, this small campaign is the beginning of a massive evolution. The intent is a simple belief statement to customers and beyond that signals their intent to become a purpose driven brand.  For us, this campaign shows how we can excel as a brand’s strategic and creative AOR. Our team crafted Bonobos’ new strategy, its creative platform and this first wave of work. The campaign lived on, in Digital and Social, In-Store, as the October Catalog, in Print, and OOH.

Q4 2017 — Results

  • 50% increase in Brand Awareness (in market)

  • 2x increase in Retail Traffic

  • 34% increase in Purchase Intent

  • 32% increase in Catalog Prospect Conversion

  • 22% increase in Catalog Existing Conversion

However You Fit

“However You Fit” is a portrait of modern masculinity that showcases 172 diverse individuals across a spectrum of body shape, race, age, sexual orientation, and identity. By highlighting this range of diversity, Bonobos aimed to celebrate their mission: fit for every man. It launched as a regional campaign in Austin and Chicago, that consisted of a 30-second commercial showcasing the 172 diverse individuals and OOH marketing throughout the two cities. Capitalizing on this idea, Bonobos rolled the work into its national tentpole moment, #EvolveTheDefinition, in which Bonobos aired its first national spot that consisted of a 90-second documentary-style video made up of 172 interviews with real people and how they define masculinity.

Q1-Q2 2018 — Results

  • 6.1% increase in Brand Awareness

  • 30.1% net lift in Online Traffic

  • Double-digit lift in orders

30s Spot


#EvolveTheDefinition is a project that starts a conversation around the narrow definition of 'masculine,' its limitations, and how we can expand it to be more inclusive. Spurred by the company's founding mission "fit for every man," the core creative, a 90-second documentary-style video, conceptualized and produced in-house by Observatory, incorporates interviews from a diverse spectrum of individuals and how they define masculinity. 

#ETD was Bonobos’ first-ever national campaign premiering during the #1 televised live sports and entertainment event among the brand’s target audience: The ESPYS. Additionally, the campaign included a microsite featuring content with all 172 individuals interviewed encouraging the public to help evolve the definition by submitting their interpretation of the word ‘masculine.’

The campaign sparked a cultural conversation with results KPIs and expectations. The campaign drove 31% relative lift in Bonobos brand awareness, according to a Google Brand Study. Bonobos’ brand tracking firm found that of those who saw the #EvolveTheDefinition campaign, 83% felt more favorable toward Bonobos. (Source: Morning Consult).

Additional MetricS

  • 10MM+ YouTube views in 24hrs

  • 400,000+ microsite visits.

  • Total website sessions beat the daily average by 50%+

  • Unpaid “Bonobos” search reached the highest peak of 2018.

  • #1 most social program on ESPN digital.

  • 56MM  trending twitter impressions

  • Earned positive social response from key influencers, including Reese Witherspoon, Mark Cuban, and Michael Ian Black

  • 3.61% lift in purchase consideration

  • +17.4% in sales

  • +7.5% in retail foot traffic

  • Winner, 2018 #YouTubeAd of The Year “That Rewrites the Rules”

Case Study