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A Year in Whalar's Influencer Marketing Partnership with Boots


Whalar's Will Rix looks into the strategy, effects, and results of Whalar’s 2019 influencer marketing partnership with Boots UK

A Year in Whalar's Influencer Marketing Partnership with Boots

As a heritage brand, Boots’ unique presence within the health and beauty industry has been a staple part of British culture for generations. Their original store can be traced back to 1849 and few high streets are complete without them.

In 2019, Boots realigned their marketing plans to engage with the next generation of consumers with Whalar. Through six campaigns and 96 influencers spread across the year, we targeted specific cultural events, partnered with creators who challenged existing brand perceptions and worked across multiple platforms to deliver unprecedented results.

Video independently produced by Whalar's Emily Freda Sharp


A common misconception by advertisers is to mistake influencer marketing as a short term solution for brands. However, when done right, partnering with influencers can inform and drive digital strategy. Influencers provide direct product feedback, know their audience more intimately than any marketer and give brands an entirely new interpretation of a product or culture.

Boots is a household name in the UK. From a contemporary marketing perspective, their challenge lies less in generating brand awareness, and more so with combating brand fatigue. Particularly when engaging with digital-first consumers - Generation Z and Late Millennials - these groups crave intimate and authentic connection from marketers, more so than any generation before them. We’ve seen this from disruptive, direct to consumer models - such as Glossier or Dollar Shave Club - thriving in recent years. These successes can be pinned on a primary focus on digital-first business and has caused a shift within the beauty industry.

In Boots’ model, they offer a multitude of brands and cover an extensive variety of products that answer a wide breadth of consumer needs. Influencers allow Boots to effectively promote these varying product lines and brands by providing intimate and targeted channels of communication directly to their consumers, all united under the familiar Boots name.

Why Gen Z? Unlocking the ‘Digital Generation’

More than any generation before them, Generation Z (according to a study from American Express) are more than twice as likely to drop a brand due to their social media presence alone. This is of huge importance when considering that the average Generation Z consumer spends three hours a day on social media platforms, as found by Global Web Index.

For Boots, this is the new generation of audience they are tapping into; a generation that are interacting and engaging with social content more than any other media. To thrive as a go-to destination that encourages healthy living and positivity, having a bold and relevant influencer strategy is essential to connecting Boots with a new wave of consumers.

For us, that meant delivering six campaigns, each bespoke to Boots’ specific business targets and creative vision, across 2019.

Here’s how it unfolded.

January 2019 | Wellness

24 creators, reaching an audience of over 2.5 million. Distributed across Instagram via feed and story posts, garnering several hundreds of thousands of unique engagements from the target audience.

Following the launch of the 'Little Boosts from Boots' campaign, Boots wanted to reinforce their position as a destination for health and wellbeing solutions for the new year. By targeting a larger demographic, 25-54, the aim was to promote an accessible and active lifestyle culture.

Playing to each influencer’s specialisms, we featured products across nine major brands to illustrate Boots’ product versatility. Executed across three months, our creators ranged from fitness fanatics and foodies to graphic designers and mums. Content needed to be positive, energetic and radiate a feeling of health and happiness, whilst naturally demonstrating how the product should be used.

Capitalising on the cultural relevance of January as a month to re-set, Boots aligned themselves with the trending habit of seeking healthy lifestyle inspiration from social media feeds. The strategic nature of the campaign resulted in several thousand product saves to reflect purchase intent, a bank of energetic and diverse assets, and kick-started Boots’ 2019 strategy as a brand focused on culture as well as product.