29.05.2024  •  Fashion NEWS

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GoSee CREATIVES TO WATCH : Meredith Braden Bucher, Creative Lead at ZALANDO STUDIOS, on her work at Zalando plus a few creative highlights

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Meredith Braden Bucher, BRADEN STUDIO / Creative Lead ZALANDO STUDIOS : Some favorite moments from our campaign ‘Open Invitation’ for Lacoste x Zalando

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Meredith Braden Bucher is a multidisciplinary creative with 12+ years of experience in working with top brands such Nike, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, and Estée Lauder in the areas of fashion, beauty, travel, and lifestyle. At the moment, she is working as the Creative Lead at Zalando’s integrated full-service creative agency. ZALANDO, Europe’s leading online fashion platform with more than 50 million active customers across 26 markets, has entrusted Meredith, with her vast expertise, to head its multidisciplinary creative teams. She develops and realizes 360° marketing strategies and campaigns for global partner brands. Campaigns spanning various channels including the Zalando website, print and DOOH, social media (TikTok, Snapchat, Meta), events, influencer marketing, editorial partnerships, and further paid media placements.

GoSee : The VERSACE JEANS COUTURE campaign by Zalando is an absolute eye-catcher. Please tell us more about it. Meredith : This was my fourth campaign with the Versace team and certainly my favorite (being from Texas, I just love all the Western trends at the moment!). I creative directed this particular concept from Margo Maró, who is a talented art director on our Brand Campaigns team at Zalando Studios. It was such a fun project and killer team; we had a blast working on it from start to finish!

What exactly is your job as creative lead @Zalando Studios? How big is your team, and what are your daily challenges and highlights? My role includes managing a team of art directors, creative directing campaigns, managing key brand accounts, and working as a creative on brand campaigns at Zalando. Our Brand Campaigns team has grown to about 20 members, and we almost exclusively work on partner brand campaigns at Zalando (Calvin Klein, Nike, Lacoste, Estée Lauder, etc.). Given the quantity of work we’re responsible for, capacity is always a challenge, but it’s very rewarding to be able to work across a portfolio of some of the world’s most recognized and respected fashion brands.

Zalando Studios is the creative production hub at Zalando? Yes. There are several creative teams under the Zalando Studios umbrella. Our team, in particular, has always partnered closely with ZMS (Zalando Marketing Services), and we act as an internal agency for brand campaigns on Zalando.

Do you have a particular highlight that you would like to show us? A recent highlight for me was the campaign-turned-music-video we did for Nike, starring German rapper Badmómzjay. We teamed up to visualize her new track ‘Levels’ in full Nike gear – fiercely blending music, style & movement in a metaphor of what moves her. I enjoy pushing format boundaries and playing with what a campaign can actually be. It’s always nice to shake things up a bit.
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How exactly do you begin with the visual artwork for your campaigns, and when does the creative process start? Projects and their structure vary greatly depending on the brief, brand and budget. Some of our campaigns are small and purely visual concepts executed in just a couple months. Others span over half a year and involve several teams including Strategy, Consumer Insights/Interviews, facilitating brand workshops and ample pre-work before we even get into concept development. So sometimes, the campaign is the final piece of a much longer strategic initiative we’ve worked on for the brand.

Say, for instance, you’re producing a campaign for VERSACE COUTURE. What does collaborating with the brand and their marketing team look like? Do you have strict guidelines here, do you work out the ideas together, or do you have complete creative freedom when it comes to execution? Processes and preferred ways of working vary depending on the brand, but we always collaborate closely with their internal marketing and creative teams to ensure our concepts are aligned with their global creative direction and upcoming initiatives.

Does it ever happen that a brand says something like: “Wow, your Zalando campaign for our brand is amazing, we would also like to show it as our own campaign? Yes! Brands often use our campaign assets on their own channels and work with us as they would with any other agency.

How do you put your teams together? Once we have an approved concept, we work closely with our production team to assemble the best creative team to bring our ideas to life.

Where can people see your creations? Most of our campaigns run on paid digital media placements, so they’re kind of hard to find in the wild if we don’t have any OOH media. Maybe you’ll be targeted if you’re in our target audience :)

Who are your target audiences, and how do you reach them? Our target audiences vary depending on the brief, but a large part, the majority even, of our work speaks to millennials and Gen Z.

Which campaign do you like to think back to, and which was the craziest/most creative? One of my favorites was a Pride campaign we did with GAP in 2022 where we handed over our platform to three filmmakers within the Berlin LGBTQIA+ community. We allocated the majority of our campaign budget to support them in producing films that shared their interpretation of GAP’s core belief: The freedom to be yourself is the most profound form of joy. The films were showcased on ZALANDO and also across best-in-culture video platform NOWNESS with a homepage takeover as well as a buzzy Berlin launch event. I’m still proud of this because it had a lasting, positive impact on the artists we worked with, genuinely engaged the Berlin LGBTQIA+ community – while giving valuable stories a platform. Over a year later, our directors were still receiving awards/accolades for their films. 




Is it possible to book Braden.Studio as a freelance CD? Yes, I have been freelancing for brands in the fashion, travel and lifestyle space for over 12 years and am always happy to hear about new projects :)

Can you tell us a bit about your background? Before you came to Berlin, you were responsible for visual identity at Neiman Marcus in New York. How did you end up in Berlin and at Zalando? Do you have any personal creative highlights in the city to share? I’ve been in Berlin for nearly nine years now, having previously worked as Brand Designer at Neiman Marcus, which is actually headquartered in Dallas, Texas (also my hometown). I started freelancing at Zalando over six years ago and eventually became a full-time employee. Berlin is such a rich and inspiring place if you’re in the creative industry. My job has enabled me to work with so many talented artists – both in and out of Zalando. It’s really a small world and such a pleasure to continually collaborate with people over the course of so many years. The city has always been a cultural leader, and I think the work coming out of Berlin proves it again and again.

 

 
Meredith Braden Bucher, BRADEN STUDIO / Creative Lead ZALANDO STUDIOS

Meredith Braden Bucher, BRADEN STUDIO / Creative Lead ZALANDO STUDIOS

 
Creative Direction by Meredith Braden / Braden Studio : This ain't Texas, but it's Versace - ZALANDO

Creative Direction by Meredith Braden / Braden Studio : This ain't Texas, but it's Versace - ZALANDO

 
Meredith Braden Bucher, BRADEN STUDIO / Creative Lead ZALANDO STUDIOS for CALVIN KLEIN

Meredith Braden Bucher, BRADEN STUDIO / Creative Lead ZALANDO STUDIOS for CALVIN KLEIN

 
Meredith Braden Bucher, BRADEN STUDIO / Creative Lead ZALANDO STUDIOS for CALVIN KLEIN

Meredith Braden Bucher, BRADEN STUDIO / Creative Lead ZALANDO STUDIOS for CALVIN KLEIN

 
Creative Direction by Meredith Braden / Braden Studio : ‘LEVELS’ by @badmomzjay (prod. by Jumpa, Rych & Magestick)

Creative Direction by Meredith Braden / Braden Studio : ‘LEVELS’ by @badmomzjay (prod. by Jumpa, Rych & Magestick)

 
Creative Direction by Meredith Braden / Braden Studio : ‘LEVELS’ by @badmomzjay (prod. by Jumpa, Rych & Magestick)

Creative Direction by Meredith Braden / Braden Studio : ‘LEVELS’ by @badmomzjay (prod. by Jumpa, Rych & Magestick)

 
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