So, there I was, minding my own business and having a quick flick through LinkedIn when a post from a teammate from yesteryear, who is now an agency entrepreneur by day, international jetsetter by night, caught my eye.
She said it was one of “the most powerful pieces of content and storytelling” she’d seen in a while. Big claim thought I.
So, I watched it; all three minutes and six seconds of it; and she wasn’t wrong.
The brand is Hifi Klubben, a brand I had never heard of before. A quick bit of digging reveals it’s a Danish retail chain, with outposts in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany, which specialises in home audio.
According to its LinkedIn profile, it specialises in brands such as B&O, B&W, Denon, NAD, Bluesound and Sonos. These are mainly brands for the masses which create products for the few, ie, for people who know their shit when it comes to music. And anyone who has hifi in its name, frankly, is a winner for me.
For those readers who haven’t a Scooby Doo what I’m on about, hifi stands for high fidelity, a term originally used to describe high-quality sound reproduction. In later years it became a catch-all to describe any musical component worthy of producing great sound – amps, speakers, turntables, DACs – you name it, hence What Hi-Fi – the world’s number-one tech buyer’s guide (or so it claims).
What They Did
And here is the beautifully crafted thread between the brand and the film. If hifi is all about the best possible sound and HiFi Klubben wants more people to know it’s the go-to-store for anyone looking for the best equipment, the platform of ‘welcome listeners’ becomes a very powerful call to action.
First, it brought in Danish ad agency, &Co who, I’m guessing, provided a shortlist of directors to make a film. Martin Werner was chosen and it shows. Werner is one of Scandinavia’s most awarded directors and he’s become well known for getting brilliant results from top talent including George Clooney, Benicio Del Torro and Christopher Walken (watch his work for Jack & Jones – a bit clichéd at times, but hey, it’s the Walken).
Here he takes the ‘welcome listeners’ platform and turns it on its head for a great pay-off.
It’s cinematic, theatrical, dramatic and hits several, culturally rich pain points head on.
It originally aired in October 2018, but a great ad has a habit of seeping out. I’d also love to say it surround-sounded it with equally compelling content, but as the bulk of coverage is in either Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Dutch, I can’t. But the numbers look good.
And if I add that the brand celebrates its own Hifi Day by playing “99 of the greatest masterpieces in music history” in 99 branches, I feel pretty confident that this was a campaignable idea activated across multiple channels.
Like others, HiFi Klubben has to compete against the threat of Amazon and a new generation of online retailers. To compete on cost will result in a long, painful death so it has to find a point of difference which will enable it to thrive. It sells high-quality gear to a well-informed, connoisseur audience, but that isn’t enough of a differentiator to recruit new audiences.
Yes, I’m taken with the ad, with Hifi Day and pretty much everything I’ve seen from this brand. But then I frickin’ love listening to music – if HiFi Klubben were in London, I’d be all over it. But it’s not me it has to appeal to so the brand platform and the sentiment behind it has to resonate with other segments.
Read its words (ignore its overuse of exclamation marks) and you tell me if it knocked it out of the park or not.
“People no longer listen. We no longer listen to one another. We’re busy with social media more now than we listen to our children. We no longer listen to our bodies when we get stressed and actually need a break. And, very often, we don’t really take time to listen to music. Except for a form of background noise that fills the air 24 hours a day. And that’s such a pity! Because if we really listen, something exceptional happens. We hear sounds, colours and nuances. If we really listen, our brains release substances that give us a warm feeling inside.
“At HiFi Klubben we know all about how important it is to really enjoy listening. We’re crazy about top-quality sound and good music – and it needn’t be expensive or complicated. Visit one of our shops; we will listen to you! Interested in hearing more?