The grocery store doesn’t have to market food. If you don’t eat, you die. Marketing is primarily for luxury items. Items that aren’t a necessity, but the item fulfills some type of hedonistic desire. Want to look cool? Buy this particular shoe. Want to get the girl/guy? Wear this cologne/perfume. You don’t need to wear a pair of LeBrons, Currys or Jordans, to protect your feet; you simply need something to keep your feet off of the pavement, or keep your feet warm.
Effective marketing appeals to the emotions. Consider the impulse buy at a grocery store. You’re standing in a long line and there are magazines in front of you and candy. You end up going home with an Enquirer and three packs of chocolate or bubble gum.
I’ve been giving Under Armour a lot of grief about their marketing. I have my reasons. My shoe company ARCH has been around for 6 years and I’ve never had a budget. I have had to be very creative to sell over 600 pair of shoes from a brand no one has ever heard of. I still have 27 pair. It’s taken a series of creative campaigns for me to sell shoes. The one thing that happens when I analyze other companies who have the budgets, but continuously dump money out without creating campaigns which create emotion, is I get bothered to no end.
What is effective marketing? The ad should create a connection to a moment in your memory, make you believe you are getting a deal, or inspire the thought of wanting to accomplish a goal. The senses should be activated. If a company wants you to buy its pizza, it has to either make your mouth water, or give you a price so good you consider it based on price.
When it comes to footwear, it’s all about emotion. Jordan Brand and Nike are very good at creating a connection. A billion dollar company can make you feel like you’re a part of the underdog community. This Russell Westbrook commercial plays on a number of cues. The video has a refrain of “Now I do what I want.” Here is what the video accomplishes:
- Russell Westbrook is shown dancing as if no one is watching. The people who are dancing in the video come in every shape and color implying diversity and unity.
- Dancing creates happiness. It’s a form of expression. It’s art. The creativity and joy of learning a new dance and performing to the approval of those around you provides a release of Dopamine. This drives the emotional connection to the video.
- The repetitive hook by Lil Uzi Vert is also a shot at Durant’s former teammate Kevin Durant. With KD gone from OKC the team is officially Westbrook’s squad. This video is a celebration of individuality and commitment.
- Consider that the Westbrook 0 lifestyle shoe did not sell at a high rate. The shoe is currently on clearance and on sale in stores. This second shoe, however, will possibly be a solid sales leader because there is a connection to Westbrook and his status as an underdog willing to stand before the people and be himself.
Here is the video.
Now compare that video to the Jordan Brand video for the first version of this shoe the Westbrook 0:
This video, on the Jordan Brand YouTube page in one year has only garnered 245,398 views. It uses a traditional marketing strategy as opposed to the more viral video for the new Westbrook shoe. The new video has inspired copycat videos, and because Jordan has not added it to their own pages several YT stations are featuring the video on their pages. A Google of the name of the song has countless threads about the song and its shot at KD.
This is effective marketing. A shoe that was probably destined for clearance racks is now a shoe that could potentially be a solid release for Jordan Brand. It’s a great case study.