European Baby Brand Bugaboo Makes Its First US-Focused Social Media And Content Play

Comic: The Wrong Side Of The TracksJeanelle Teves lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where the sidewalks are jammed with UPPAbaby strollers.

And now it’s her job as general manager of Amsterdam-based baby gear company Bugaboo’s North America business to expand the challenger brand’s presence stateside and into Canada.

Teves joined Bugaboo a year ago following a long stint leading marketing and merchandizing for Nike’s women’s division.

“A big part of our growth opportunity is connecting with the modern American parent,” Teves said.

Last month, Bugaboo launched its first campaign produced in the United States and for an American audience.

Whereas Europeans often spend more of their shopping journey, especially for products like strollers, at the store and talking to sales associates face-to-face, Americans spend more time researching niche sites and blogs for reviews, Teves said.

Americans also increasingly lean on social media influencers who test and promote products. Meaning that by the time American shoppers get to a store, they tend to already have a specific item in mind, at which point it’s just about guiding them to a location that has the product in stock.

Bugaboo’s North American campaign does include traditional retail marketing with long-time store partners that carry its strollers and have in-store displays, including Buy Buy Baby. But the brand is also trying to bring more of its digital marketing efforts to the real world through partners such as Babylist, an ecommerce-first retailer that has a pop-up apartment in a Brooklyn brownstone where people can try out gear for themselves before making a purchase.

The social influencers Bugaboo is working with on its campaign can direct their audience to the Babylist apartment and some of them show up there to meet in person as well, Teves said.

Although Instagram has been Bugaboo’s primary social media platform, she said, TikTok has become its other major audience acquisition channel.

Both Instagram and TikTok are home to tons of how-to videos, and “Millennial moms and Gen Z moms love a good how-to video,” Teves.

Wait, did she just say Gen Z moms? Who feels old?

The main target audience for baby merch is Millennials, which are people who fall within the late twenties to early forties age range. But the “pioneers of Gen Z” are starting to have babies, Teves said, and most turn to TikTok to scout products – similar to how the older online generation leans on Instagram.

Bugaboo posts and advertises on Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, too, she said, but those platforms aren’t as central to the stroller buying process.

Facebook and Instagram advertising has taken a hit since Apple’s iOS 14.5 and ATT policy rollout, Teves said.

Even before those changes, Bugaboo was pouring some of its paid media into TikTok, because it’s a favorite among the youngs. But Bugaboo is also testing new channels that allow for ad targeting without having to rely on Facebook’s third-party pixel and SDK network, including pregnancy apps and media properties that can confidently guarantee a large proportion of their audience is made up of pregnant women, particularly in the second or third trimester.

Bugaboo advertises and sponsors branded content with pregnancy apps, but also uses those apps as data partners. If Bugaboo knows a user has a particular pregnancy app downloaded on their phone, it’s able to target with much higher precision, Teves said. Facebook used to have that capability simply built-in via its third-party data network, but now both Facebook and the third-party app need permission to collect data for targeting in order for the connections to work.

“It’s a very intentionally different approach than previous [Facebook-based] campaigns,” Teves said. “We are focusing more deliberately with media where we know [people are] seeking new information as part of this process of starting a new chapter in their life.”

Down the line, Bugaboo is also planning to do more podcast advertising, Teves said. Bugaboo is interested in anything that’s part of the new-parent information tornado.

New parents like … Gen Zers.

“I’m sorry you had to find out about Gen Z moms this way,” Teves said.

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