Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?
For the second year of its partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Lacoste pushed its engagement for wildlife even further. Its iconic crocodile left its usual spots to ten threatened species in every square foot of Lacoste’s main stores in the world.
All Lacoste communication and social platforms also became “Crocodile-Free”.
All profits from this day helped IUCN’s efforts to conserve threatened wildlife.
In 2018, Lacoste started a partnership with IUCN to help them raise awareness on threatened species. This collaboration led to the creation of 10 limited-edition polo shirts on which the iconic crocodile was replaced by 10 threatened species. The 1, 775 polos were sold out in 24 hours and the campaign received massive support among a wide audience and lots of media attention.
In 2019, we had to go bigger to ensure our awareness message would receive as much attention as it got with the first campaign.
Our objectives of visibility, desirability and sales were the same (and even more ambitious) but so was our constraint: a cost-efficient campaign, with no media booking to keep the money for the cause.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
For 24hrs for the International day for Biological Diversity:
• We involved Lacoste’s key stores around the world.
Each was entirely dedicated to a threatened species, which took the place of the crocodile throughout the store.
• Lacoste ambassador Novak Djokovic wore an outfit where the crocodile had been replaced by a seal during the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome.
• Lacoste’s website, social media platforms and eshop were transformed.
• Many media spaces were given to us for free all around the world.
• We also used the media Lacoste had already booked for its new brand campaign and changed the crocodile in the block mark into one of the threatened species.
All the profits of the day were donated to IUCN to support their conservation programs on the ground.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
Lacoste’s history has always been tied to its crocodile. It embodies the brand values, its tenacity in any circumstances. The Lacoste crocodile always fights for what it cares for.
Moreover, the crocodile is a species that has survived for centuries. Wearing a crocodile on the heart is no longer neutral: it engages, it implies responsibility. And we were willing to use it as a megaphone to support other threatened species.
Lacoste’s crocodile is one of the most famous logos in the world. Lacoste fans have a deep attachment to this iconic symbol, so they were our first target as we knew they would be sensitive to a change in this loved logo. But of course, the objective was to reach a wider audience and raise public attention on this biodiversity issue.
Describe the execution (30% of vote)
Lacoste x Crocodile Free was launched on May 22nd. Over night, we completely transformed stores around the world to remove ALL crocodiles and replaced them with a threatened species.
It began in Paris, and then the openings followed the different time zones: Europe, USA, Asia.
It was an ambitious transformation, prepared with Lacoste retail teams and our creative teams for months. Windows, signs, furniture, clothes rails… no crocodile was forgotten, they ALL had to be replaced by a threatened species.
People started to queue even before the stores’ openings.
May 17th: beginning of teasing on Lacoste social media
May 22nd: Launch (Novak on court, stores around the world & online, media)
May 23rd: end of the campaign
List the results (30% of vote)
All time highest affluence: thousands of people queued in front of stores.
EARNED MEDIA: More than 11.2 million reach, 360k total engagement.
Free media in Paris, London, Berlin, NYC, Tokyo, Seoul: 700+ panels for a media value of 200k€.
OWNED SOCIAL MEDIA (Facebook, Instagram): 4.9 million total reach, 141k total engagement. 5.9% engagement rate (vs. 4.8% of 2019 average).
700k video views and more than 800k shares: Lacoste biggest performance in 2019.
Fan growth: +9,700 in a week (+12% vs usual fashion activation).
SALES: All Crocodile free 3520 polo shirts were sold out in 24hrs and in less than an hour online. Plus all the profits from this top traffic day in-store were donated to IUCN.
DONATIONS: Lacoste and IUCN’s partnership led to a protection program for the Batagur Turtle. 40 were left in 2018. Since May 2019, 62 baby turtles have been born thanks to the program.
Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work
Lacoste wanted to demonstrate that its environmental responsibility goes beyond the simple respect of CSR charters: for them, being an actor of this industry also requires to take action, and hopefully show the way to other brands. The crocodile is one of the most famous logos in the world. It is the absolute emblem of Lacoste, creating desirability and passion among the brand's fans. Removing the beloved crocodile from polos and stores shed light on endangered species and rose awareness about their alarming condition.
The Lacoste crocodile keeps on fighting for the survival of other wildlife to raise awareness on 10 other threatened species.