Adidas Is Ratcheting Up Live Video for International Yoga Day and the Summer Solstice

Gear marketer underscores how brands keep testing the space

The brand appears to be committed to livestreaming.

There are companies that have dipped their toes into the livestreaming waters, and there are the few that have straight cannonballed into the pool. Adidas is one of the brands going for it, having already done more than 50 livestreams in recent months.

Today, the sports-gear marketer is celebrating International Yoga Day and the summer solstice with a livestream on while syndicating the footage via Facebook and Twitter. Utilizing livestreaming platform Brandlive, it will be Adidas’ biggest livestream to date and will include an ecommerce play for a new line of yoga pants.

But why, exactly? Is there a branding value that you can get through livestreaming that you can’t get any other way online?

“Yes, from the tests we’ve done to date, the biggest value is time spent with content,” said Chris Murphy, senior director and managing editor at Adidas. “It’s hard to call it view-through-rate as we might with traditional video, but length of time spent with live content is dramatically longer than traditional video. As such, we’re getting our brand, our products, our athletes and influencers in front of consumers for far longer via live.”

Murphy’s takes jibe with what RetailMeNot has seen after 16 livestreams on Facebook since October. As of June 1, the digital coupon player has racked up 2.3 million views, with an average viewership of almost 150,000 per livestream on the social platform. RetailMeNot’s next livestream is June 26, when it will run its Summer Must-Haves event.

“Our highest-viewed segment to date was our Black Friday Shopping Haul, which aired live Nov. 25, 2016 to a total of 247,723 viewers,” said Marissa Tarleton, CMO of RetailMeNot. “[It was a] 17-minute segment [that] featured three RetailMeNot employees sharing their favorite finds from shopping early Black Friday morning, resulting in 377 likes, 27 shares, 64 comments.”

Tarleton’s team, which executes the livestreams in house, has parlayed their programming into monetization. The company now pitches Facebook livestreams as part of an advertising bundle, particularly offering brand mentions and coupons. The retailers that have participated in recent weeks include names like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Old Navy, Sephora, Target, Body Shop, Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor, Pro Flowers and Best Buy.

Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot, advised brand marketers new to livestreaming to speak to the audience as if they were family and friends.

“[And watch] each broadcast after the fact to see where and when people are tuning in and when the viewership spikes,” she said. “Listen and learn what your audience likes and appreciates, and replicate that each time.”

Skirboll added that technical difficulties “are unavoidable with livestreaming, and we’ve experienced plenty of issues ourselves.”

“The worst thing to do is panic, and the best thing to do is take a breath and restart and simply apologize,” she said. “We’ve seen just as high viewership on segments we’ve had to restart than on the ones with zero hiccups. And, frankly, the hiccups are what makes us, and me, real. Stuff happens. It’s all about how you roll with it.”

Speaking at South by Southwest earlier this year, April DeWitt, social media lead at Honest Company, said, “People want to see the imperfect. They want to see the real.”

The Honest Company orchestrated 85 livestreams in 2016 and seems to be keeping that kind of pace this year—it ran one on Facebook on June 16 in honor of Father’s Day.

McDonald’s, Airbnb and AT&T are just a few other livestreaming-happy brands that have jumped in with both feet. But does livestreaming actually affect consumers purchasing habits?

“To be honest, we’re not yet sure,” Murphy said. “We’re just starting to test some commerce elements of live video. And, as we add in Q&A and chat features, we’re hoping to see an increased opportunity to drive sales.”

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