April 9, 2012 by Xath Cruz - 2 comments
It’s easy to forget something so familiar. It’s even easier to take for granted the greatness of something so mainstream.
Like Converse Chuck Taylor.
There are few things that cut across all genders, all generations, all religions, and all social classes. There’s McDonald’s, there’s Michael Jackson, and then there’s Converse Chuck Taylor or, as we call it, Chucks. Among these, Chucks is probably the most versatile. It has been worn everywhere, from professional basketball tournaments to the Oscar red carpet and by all sorts of people, from Eminem to Prince William. I highly doubt there is another piece of apparel or accessory that can claim the same honor.
Just Add Color is the newest campaign of Converse for Chucks. It uses the iconic high cut design in stencil printed and painted on city cards, posters, and walls. The highlight, however, is the graffiti art done by different, well, graffiti artists in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland using all sorts of non-traditional painting method such as paintball-like splotches were used.
Not that Chucks needs anymore coolness points but the campaign is obviously avoiding something, to be perceived as a selling campaign. It’s a brand building campaign. Their main video release concentrated on the process of creating the different graffiti. Nothing was mentioned about sales and market share.
Backed by a partly melancholic, partly inspiring, and partly badass music bed, the video takes the viewer through the artists’ journey of creating their piece. There were no interviews, no graphs, and not mention of leadership or product quality. The methods used by the artists did the job of explaining what the vision is, what inspired it, and what they went through to realize their imagination. More importantly, it explained the main message of the whole campaign.
Chucks was and always will be about the art of life.
Converse is not the first brand to successfully use creative pieces for their campaign. Nike, Adidas, and even McDonald’s are pretty good at doing it. However, Converse is one of the first to successfully focus on the process of creation as much as the end product. It makes the campaign more personal as the viewers are allowed to understand and “be a part” of the art piece.
Some of the most successful “creative” campaigns have associated with celebrity or celebrity artists. Nike, for one, maximizes the reputation of their endorsers. Converse used another route. They featured the artists alright but they didn’t build on their street or mainstream reputation. They showed the artists but only to put humanity behind the art piece. They didn’t name the artists which allows consumers to associate the art, and whatever else the art piece communicates, with Chucks not the artist.
That’s what it is, a creative way of manipulating the minds of consumers, and it’s a great way to do it. The talent of the artists they used are undoubtedly no less than amazing. Browse through the image below to see it. It is important for the company to not take for granted the contribution of the artists. Hence, the video.
… but, at the end of the day, Converse is a company that intends to sell millions of Chucks for years to come. It is important to highlight their brand.
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