Nike debuted a “Create With Air Max” coloring book in Japan that lets fans color in pictures of its popular sneakers and then view their completed designs in 3D. The coloring books include a QR code that can be scanned via smartphone to display the sneaker designs hovering over the pages, giving viewers a 360 degree look at their original Nike Air Max creations. Viewers can save their 3D animations to their phones and share them on social media. While Nike traditionally rolls out digital campaigns on its popular smartphone apps, according to a Gartner report, the “Create With Air Max” campaign only requires a smartphone camera for the virtual experience. As such, fans in places where the Nike app is not available can still partake in the campaign, potentially helping Nike reach a wider audience.
Nike’s new campaign combines an in-person and digital initiative in one, using technology and classic coloring books to create an all-around branded experience for consumers. For the campaign rollout, Nike gave 1,000 coloring books to popular Japanese artists and sneakerheads who then shared their designs on social media, furthering its reach. The corporation chose Japan for the push because originally it was going to unveil new Air Max designs in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics, before the games were postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. While its original plan was interrupted, Nike’s new push proves it can still run a campaign that utilizes local talent to engage with a global audience. Creating a global campaign around coloring books—which have seen a pandemic revival from nostalgic, homebound consumers—and promoting them on social media allows Nike to reach tech savvy consumers using an old-school twist.
AR technology has become a go-to marketing tool for brands during the pandemic, as it allows brands to create realistic and innovative experiences while brick and mortar stores remain closed. Nike’s coloring book is its second venture into AR during the pandemic, having first released a whimsical virtual campaign in Brazil that let consumers raise their smartphone cameras to the sky to see a pair of Nike Air Max’s floating amongst the clouds. Other brands, including Lexus, Bollé, and Gucci, have also incorporated AR into their campaigns recently as the strategy became a safe bet to help brands of all backgrounds reach homebound consumers across a plethora of platforms during the pandemic.
Nike is engaging with artists and sneakerheads alike via its new AR-infused shoe campaign. The coloring book activation could give fans a unique glimpse at Nike’s popular sneakers and encourage consumers to shop the brand’s website in search of Air Max’s that look like their own unique designs.