What do your shoes say about you?

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
5 minutes to read

Coming from a background in retail, and having previously run my own lifestyle store, clothing and particularly footwear have been of interest to me for as long as I can remember.

Not in a ‘hype’ kind of way; where following trends for the sake of it is important, quite the opposite- just a love for heritage, quality and simplicity in products that have stood the test of time..

Converse is a perfect example of a brand that has created exactly that. With silhouettes such as the Jack Purcell signature shoe designed by the Canadian badminton champion in 1935 and the 70’s Chuck Taylor All Star OX that has recently been re-released and produced in exactly the same way using the same materials and manufacturing processes that were used the first time around.

Reflecting on their history Converse have recently unveiled their biggest marketing campaign to date, celebrating their best known and longest standing shoe; the Chuck Taylor All Star. A shoe favoured across the largest demographic.

The campaign (dreamt up by Geoff Cotrill – VP and general manager of Converse Brand Segments and digitally savvy veteran of Starbucks and Coca-Cola), is running across the company’s social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. It was introduced to celebrate fans of the brand who have expressed themselves creatively whilst wearing a pair; turning Chucks into their personal artistic canvas.

Their spring collection follows a huge digital campaign, including contributions from artistic icons such as Andy Warhol, Ron English, Thomas Midlane, Glenn O’Brein, Futura and more.

What do your shoes say about you?

Cotrill said that the Nike-owned company’s multi-channel campaign, which is global but also ‘hyper local’, will stretch across social media as well as including launch exhibitions at street level in New York, London, Amsterdam, Berlin and Shanghai. There, as well as online visitors will be able to ‘step into the shoes’ of the participating icons in virtual reality, using their accompanying app ‘In Their Chucks’ on their smart phones paired with Google Cardboard Goggles. Viewers can experience a 360-degree video of the iconic artist and their surroundings, with personal narration through the Cardboard Goggles.

What do your shoes say about you?

Consumers are being encouraged to share their own efforts and post up their Chucks across social media with the hope of them being featured on video ads, social media channels, billboards and at events. Users can upload their own ‘canvases’ on the dedicated submission form on the brand’s Tumblr page, where the campaign has gained and continues to gain its most significant momentum.

John Donnelly, senior VP of marketing and sales at social media analytics company Crimson Hexagon, stated that Converse’s ‘Made By You’ campaign smartly combines two social strategies: customisation and visual storytelling. The brand’s #chucktaylor hashtag gives the customer the opportunity to authentically express themselves, whilst helping to generate a social art gallery of the products. Converse therefore connects the self, brand and community.

The #chucktaylor hashtag was mentioned in more than 1,000 posts in the first half of the day that the campaign launched, and the brand’s most retweeted tweets include:

What do your shoes say about you?


Cotrill stated that his goal is not to harness Converse’s social media prowess; ‘We love the fact that it doesn’t have a harness. It’s been driven by our consumers expressing themselves. We let social media teach us about the brand and how they feel about it and then focus our efforts accordingly’.

Converse have done amazingly well in leveraging their community in order to tell their story. Having fans sharing and comparing their efforts online, whilst deepening their connection with the brand, celebrating a milestone and pairing it with a customer generated storytelling initiative is what has made the campaign successful.

The beauty of a campaign like this, especially where a timeless product is concerned, is that it never has to end, and according to Ian Stuart, VP of global digital marketing at Converse, it isn’t expected to. Stuart said ‘The campaign isn’t going away any time soon. This is just the beginning and we expect that Chucks will continue to be ‘made by you’ for some time to come’.

Step into the artists shoes and see the world through their eyes here.

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