social media

Pinterest Keeps Experimenting With Retail

There’s no arguing that Pinterest is a powerful social media platform. But with a commitment to exploration and discovery, from cupcakes to makeup trends to gardening ideas, the company is working harder to help users go from dreaming to doing. Xanthe Wells, Pinterest’s vice president of global creative, gives Marketing Daily a campaign update and explains what it hopes to accomplish with pop-ups.

Marketing Daily: These new spots are fun -- watching a young couple develop a disco treehouse, a Gen X woman trying to rediscover her rollerblade moves, or creating Halloweenies for a Monster Mash. How do they fit under the “It’s Possible” umbrella?



Xanthe Wells: We started “It’s Possible” a year ago. The campaign came from the idea of Pinterest as the platform that lets you create a life you love but, more importantly, can take you from inspiration to action. So you can dream of something, then shop for it, build it, bake it, knit it, whatever, to get the final result.

That idea has gotten a great reception from all our stakeholders, and the new spots continue to build on that. And with this set, which is the third flight, I wanted to show how people’s worlds change. I’m obsessed with before-and-afters, and I love showing a good transformation. We've also been going into humor a little more lately. This year, we turned our Pinterest Presents, our B2B advertiser summit, into a TV show.

Marketing Daily: Got a favorite?

Wells: Maybe the disco treehouse. It’s relatable. Couples go through this when they first move in together and have to find a way to compromise on what they want. For this couple, that was blending retro with forestcore. And I love that the spot uses motion graphics, live action and stop motion, with that look of things moving independently and the pins overlaid on the objects. We did this with our in-house agency, called House of Creative.

Marketing Daily: What companies do you consider your main competition these days? And how do you describe your brand personality?

Wells: There is an inherent positivity to the brand. Pinterest is a safe space compared to a lot of social media companies. People can be themselves because there's not a lot of trolling. It's not people connecting to people. It's people connecting to ideas.

That's powerful because the experience is not about the personalities as much as it is about solutions. Our brand personality, though, is open and creative. Our ads should be dangling a carrot, like "Look at all the stuff you didn’t know we had." And we work with so many retailers and brands, from cars to Walmart.

So, I think Pinterest is a category of one. People are rooting for Pinterest, and we see that even more with Gen Z.

Marketing Daily: How so?

Wells: They are our most engaged cohort yet. They often find Pinterest for the first time and use it in such unique, new ways. Hailey Bieber is a big fan.

Marketing Daily: You’ve had some pop-ups, one in London and a fully shoppable partnership with Anthropologie in Brooklyn. What’s the strategy?

Wells: We hear all the time that people want to see Pinterest in real life. They want to live inside the brand and be inspired in a physical way. We did Possibility Place in London in late September and had lines out the door on both days.

We try to create engagements and activities -- it’s not just people looking at stuff. There were tattoos, micro-makeovers and furniture upcycling. We had some great tricks for renters to try. They could make candles and mocktails.

Marketing Daily: Will you do something like that again,  here in the U.S.?

Wells: I can't say exactly. We're working on some things. And the Anthropologie pop-up was a great success. People loved the way the two brands came together.

We're looking at more ways to partner with brands we feel are at the perfect intersection with our Pinterest users.

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