March 28, 2014, 2:41 PM

Gilt highlights its mobile flavor with a new ad campaign

The Top 500 web-only retailer also hopes to win over more Canadian consumers with the new spots.

Lead Photo

A screenshot from "The Chase"

If everything goes as planned, Gilt Groupe Inc. could soon have more fans in Canada and among fashioned-obsessed women not above chasing models through city streets in pursuit of nice clothes. 

The web-only retailer, which offers daily sales of discounted designer products and holds the No. 54 spot in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide, has launched an ad campaign called “Make it Yours with Gilt.”

The ad, called “The Chase,” features a woman dressed in denim and a casual black jacket who comes upon an outdoor fashion shoot. She eyes the flowing yellow dress worn by the model, who looks at her gilded watch and realizes it is nearly noon—the time when Gilt offers new deals.  The other woman, now with the narrowed eyes of a stalker, drops her coffee cup and gives chase to the model who, to her temporary advantage, wears flat-soled shoes instead of heels. The model manages to dodge a car in a move that would impress any aging star of 1980s action films; her pursuer, determined not to give in, slides across the impeccably waxed hood of the luxury vehicle as though she were floating through air. Both dart into heavy traffic before fate takes its toll: A big public clock strikes 12, leading the chaser to pull out her mobile phone, on which she orders the yellow dress. The dress sweeps off the model’s body—don’t worry, she’s wearing tasteful black under-things that protect the important parts—and soon covers the other woman. The model gives a look of grudging respect, though left unanswered is the question of where she will find something new to wear. It is broad daylight, after all.

Gilt already has put the ad on YouTube and on Monday will debut the commercial via national TV spots in the United States; Gilt says it has two 30-second and one 15-second versions of the commercial. In early April, the campaign will launch in Canada, the e-retailer says. Canada is Gilt’s second-largest market after the United States. Gilt says it ships to 180 countries. “We won't be launching on TV in other countries beyond the U.S. and Canada for this campaign,” a Gilt spokeswoman says.

Gilt does not disclose its online sales publicly. But Internet Retailer estimates it brought in $600 million in 2013, up 9.1% from $550 million in 2012, and booked an average annual growth rate of 37.1% since 2009, when Gilt says it did $170 million in sales. Gilt says that more than 40% of its sales come from shoppers using mobile devices, underscoring the mobile focus of the new ad campaign.

Gilt conducted its first TV campaign in November 2012.

“We are thrilled to be launching our new television campaign which showcases Gilt’s unique approach to online shopping in a fun and creative way, capturing the excitement that our members love about shopping on Gilt each day,” says Elizabeth Francis, Gilt’s chief marketing officer. “We found such great success with our first campaign, and as Gilt continues to grow internationally, we’re excited to debut this campaign in Canada as well.”

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