Airwalk Jim Shoe’s Invisible Re-launch


Airwalk is making innovative use of Pop Ups to maximize bang for buck in the re-launch of the brand’s classic “Jim” shoe. Airwalk used an augmented reality app from startup GoldRun to launch pop-up stores in New York and LA on November 6. The twist: The stores were invisible.

In keeping with its “cool” approach to footwear, the promotion attracted cutting-edge shoe buyers to secret locales in New York City and LA.

So how did it work? Much like the brand promotion itself – as a fun, exclusive experience. To access the invisible store, customers downloaded the GoldRun’s app, available for iPhone 3G or higher, and went to Venice Beach in Los Angeles or Washington Square Park in New York. There, they were able to acquire the shoes that were GPS-linked to both locations. [more]

Participants who located the shoes on their phones were then transferred to the Airwark e-commerce site and given a pass code link to complete their purchase of either the women’s’ shoe in red plastic or the men’s tennis shoe that resembles a tennis ball. Around 300 pairs of shoes were produced for this promotion and the shoes will be available for delivery November 15.

According to Airwalk, the premise for the ‘90s Jim shoe was an “ode to the most love/hated school activities of all time, gym class.”

“Over time, the brand has evolved into this broader, youth brand with really great ties to streetwear, music and design. That aspect of the brand is what led us to Washington Square Park,” says Kerry Keenan, executive director for creative content at Young & Rubicam, which worked with Airwalk on the campaign.

Aside from the sheer cool factor, the promotion proved to greatly strengthen the brand’s presence in the marketplace.  Since the event, Airwalk indicated that its e-commerce site is witnessing the most traffic in the company’s history. Moreover, this promotion had a huge impact on not just the target audience (18-to-26), but also people in their 30s who remember the shoe from its first launch.

With only a small budget for the launch, Airwalk managed to max their investment by being innovative. Skipping gym has never looked so cool.