THE SHOE CREATOR

ClientPUBLIC EYE
Category A13. Not-for-profit / Charity/ Government
TitleTHE SHOE CREATOR
Product/ServiceSHOE INDUSTRY
Entrant FREUNDLICHE GRÜSSE Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Idea Creation FREUNDLICHE GRÜSSE Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Media Placement GAMNED GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
PR FREUNDLICHE GRÜSSE Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Production FREUNDLICHE GRÜSSE Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Credits
Name Company Position
Pascal Deville Freundliche Grüsse Creative Director / Partner
Samuel Textor Freundliche Grüsse Creative Director / Partner
Stefanie Schmid Freundliche Grüsse Project Manager
Nadine Mojado Freundliche Grüsse Art Director
Grégoire Vuilleumier Freundliche Grüsse Copywriter
David Elmiger Freundliche Grüsse Copywriter
Erwan Eydt Freundliche Grüsse Programming

Background

Over 23 billion pairs of shoes are produced each year. Fueled by the fast fashion trend, the increasing throwaway mentality has a devastating effect on people and the environment. How could we start a conversation about this difficult issue amongst a young, fashion-savvy target audience? Mandated by Swiss NGO Public Eye, an organization fighting corporate misbehaviour, we addressed the target audience by using the familiar esthetic of online shopping sites: With the help of a playful design tool, we expose the social injustices in the shoe industry and raise awareness for a more sustainable approach towards shoes.

Describe the strategy

People that are interested in buying a lot of shoes don’t want to hear about the grievances caused by their consumer behavior. So the best way to reach this audience was to avoid the established aesthetics of charitable, cause-driven, socially aware campaigns. We tried to create a smooth transition between a regular online shopping site and our platform. This enabled the users to stay within their usual online experience, while playfully creating their own shoe, with the possibility to win their design. We used socially aware fashion influencers like model Tamy Glauser to multiply the impact within the target audience. This enabled us to reach an audience that was highly active on social media but did not regularly read the usual news channels. The incentives for a more sustainable approach to shoes were communicated as a gratifying experience: The users themselves decided how their shoes were to be made.

Describe the execution

The project went live at midnight and was spread through several online and print media outlets, as well as Public Eye’s website and an Instagram account where selected shoes created by users were published. Within less than a week, the three-month campaign goal of generating 1000 new shoe designs and corresponding mailing addresses was reached. A protest rally was organized in May where protesters formed a waiting line that went over several blocks, emulating the waiting lines in front of sneaker stores. The only difference was, the line had no beginning and no end, it simply went in circles. Bystanders were handed information to the campaign. The winner of the shoe design contest received his actual shoe in his size, produced under 100% fair and sustainable conditions.

List the results

Within a few weeks, over 3700 fair shoes were designed with The Shoe Creator. Fashion and music influencers spread The Shoe Creator in their communities and reached over 150,000 followers at the core of the target audience. News outlets and TV stations covered the campaign and carried the message to a broad public. The Shoe Creator was part of the «Sneakerness», the largest sneaker convention in Europe. Subsequently, the issue of sustainability was permanently included in the convention’s agenda.