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As Weddings Get Less Traditional, David’s Bridal Takes New Ad Direction

Ad Age

January 26, 2017

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

David’s Bridal is saying yes to a new campaign. On Feb. 3, the Conshohocken, Penn.-based bridal chain will debut a new marketing effort focused on individuality and the modern bride. The campaign, which includes TV, print and digital offerings, is the brand’s first from New York-based Yard, which began working on the account last fall.

Brides have changed,” said Ruth Bernstein, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Yard. “It used to be a time when weddings were one-size-fits-all but now it’s an era of individuality.”

A 30-second TV spot features women trying on bridal dresses as captions urge them on with missives like “Be bold,” “Be sweet, “Be wild,” and finally, “Be your own bride.” The ad promotes a February sale on gowns. The spot will run on TLC, Lifetime and Bravo and be supplemented by print ads in bridal magazines. A social media effort on Pinterest will include survey questions for consumers to answer for a personalized inspiration boards.

Embracing social media like Pinterest in the age of the DIY bride should help David’s Bridal gain traction with consumers as it continues to try to elevate its brand from a reputation of budget-friendly offerings into a more quality wedding destination. In addition to the new agency appointment, David’s Bridal is also undergoing management change. Last summer, the company appointed Paul Pressler, former CEO of Gap and current chairman of David’s Bridal, as chief executive after the abrupt departure of Pamela Wallack, a three-year veteran of the brand. Mr. Pressler also works as a partner at private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice, which owns the bridal chain.

Sam Norpel, VP-digital commerce at David’s Bridal, noted that this is the first commercial from the chain that focuses on the brand, rather than directing consumers to a specific sale or product offering. She noted that the campaign is the result of extensive customer research, which found that there is no longer a traditional bridal style for women on their wedding day.

David’s Bridal, which was founded in 1950 and now operates more than 300 stores, spent $17.9 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2015, according to Kantar Media. As recently as 2014, the chain worked with New York-based DeVito/Verdi.

Ms. Norpel said that January through March is known in the industry as Bridal Christmas, as it still represents the busiest time of year for wedding shopping.