Remember that shop where you bought your school shoes? The place where you’d patiently sit and have your feet measured at the beginning of each school term? The smell of leather, the nostalgia…
Clarks are turning that perception on its head: ‘that little shoe brand’ has launched a new range, Clarks Originals and is looking to tap into a more fashion savvy teen audience. In its latest campaign, OriginalsLIVE, the brand aims to connect to its new demographic by tapping into the latest new music and giving fans money-can’t-buy experiences.
OriginalsLIVE is Clarks’ platform to showcase their connections, collaborations and very own creations in music and music culture. Every year they champion new ventures, providing unique content and experiences fans won’t find anywhere else.
The 2012 live gig series sees Joy Formidable (currently supporting the Foo Fighters on their US tour) playing unusual locations in Bristol, Manchester and London, with the actual venue not being revealed until 48 hours before. Tickets are all released via Twitter, Facebook and the brand’s own webpage.
Locations like the Victoria Baths in Manchester, Factory 7 in London and Bridewell Police Station in Bristol have been used on the current tour. The use of unconventional venues further added to the surprise and delight element of the campaign – generating extra buzz in the host cities and online.
Why we love it
Changing perceptions about a brand is no mean feat, especially for one that is surrounded by so much nostalgia. Tie-ups with one of London’s last independent record stores, Rough Trade East, and well known up-and-coming artists like Joy Formidable and Trojan Sound System, have added a sense of real credibility to a brand that is seen as reliable and even quaint to many of us.
The results speak for themselves: the brand has over 15,000 followers online and a constant dialogue with their audience through daily updates on Facebook – largely through tapping into Joy Formidable’s existing fan base. The gigs to date have been a resounding success with sell-out shows in Manchester, Bristol and London.
Perceptions don’t change overnight, though, and what’s interesting about Clarks’ approach is that it’s long-term; the campaign is now in year three, with plans already in the pipeline for late 2012 and 2013. This, paired with their collaborative approach with artists – rather than simply ‘badging’ existing gigs – only reinforces a reason for the brand to be there – they are the curator, not the sponsor.
By Oli Richards on March 20th, 2012