Shutterfly Again Taps Kris Jenner For Holiday Campaign

Bree Casart, Shutterfly’s new chief marketing officer, says she fell in love with the brand’s DNA years ago, filling her apartment with family photos. Those images had the “magical” impact of making her house a home.

Since the company’s launch in 1999, it’s endured the ups and downs of digital pioneers. It’s now owned by Apollo Global Management, which acquired it in 2019.

Since joining Shutterfly two months ago from head of digital at Hanna Andersson, Casart has focused on new ways to connect with the brand's photo-obsessed target market. She tells D2C Insider what’s ahead for the company.

D2C Insider: Shutterfly's holiday period is critical, and you have a new campaign. Start by explaining how you see the brand these days.

Bree Casart: We are in the memory business, and when people ask me "why Shutterfly?," I always look back on when I first moved in with my husband. He had four children then, and we were creating a home out of nothing in New York City. Every holiday season, I would go into my phone, look at hundreds of my pictures, and make a Shutterfly photo gallery. We help create, capture and preserve memories that way. Our job is to tell that story more broadly, reaching the next generation of photo enthusiasts as we determine the future of our brand.

D2C Insider: You have many competitors, from the local CVS to Etsy.

Casart: Yes. We are the original photo personalization player and are over 20 years old. I don't know if anyone has coined the term "digital heritage brands," but that’s what we are -- a legacy brand of the internet.

We have a lot of competition, but have incredibly high brand awareness and are the dominant player. Our target audience, a woman approximately 30 to 50, cares deeply about quality and value and preserving those memories. So how do we modernize it and make it relevant to the next generation of photo enthusiasts? We are a premium product with an incredible assortment. I think of us as your best friend who will help you find and personalize these unique products, bringing joy and magic to your loved ones.

D2C Insider: Two months in, how are you changing the marketing approach?

Casart: We need to think about the full funnel. Too often, people think about marketing in distinct gender, brand and performance. We must think about how brand and performance play together, resonating with consumers. We need to tell not just the story of our brand, but also the incredible story of our product catalog categories and the services we offer. What space do we occupy mentally? How are we bringing that to life through products and experiences?

D2C Insider: For photo-driven brands, social media has more impact. What role does social play at this point?

Casart: So important. It is a full-funnel ecosystem where we tap into awareness, consideration, and conversion marketing.

D2C Insider: For younger customers, though, photos are entirely digital. What makes them think, "That photo should be a mug or a throw pillow"?

Casart: There are lots of questions about the role that physical photo products have in a younger consumer's life. But we all have thousands of pictures stuck on our phones. They deserve to be released and put into picture frames, canvases, or mugs to make you smile when you get your morning coffee. This new holiday campaign with Kris Jenner tells that story.

Convenience is important, too. For example, we’ll build your address book for holiday cards for free. We’ll address them. We’ll even mail them.

D2C Insider: Jenner appeared in last year’s campaign, too. What’s the focus this time?

Casart: Kris Jenner is the undisputed queen of the holiday season. There's no better fit. Think about how much coverage her holiday card gets on social media every year. And she is an expert gift-giver. Last year’s campaign was tremendously successful, particularly in paid social -- one of the best Shutterfly has ever done. This year, we did focus groups and learned we could play up this idea of Jenner as head elf. So this year, she just appears in a woman’s living room and starts talking. She’s a magical character who can help relieve the stress of the holidays by finding the right card and one-of-a-kind gifts.

D2C Insider: How much are you spending?

Casart: I can't say, but it is significant. The majority of our year lives within Q4. So this is an integrated campaign running across TV, digital, and paid social, including TikTok and YouTube, as well as email. We worked with Near Future, a production company in San Francisco. Timothy Kendall is the director.

D2C Insider: Besides boosting sales, how will you know this campaign works?

Casart: The real measure of success is how we reach that younger consumer. And we think Kris Jenner will resonate with this cohort.

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