Wouldn’t it be nice if a pair of the hottest kicks just dropped on your head? In an offering from the sneaker heavens, Adidas decided to do just that for a couple of Coachella-goers this past weekend via iOS Airdrop and a collaboration with performer Donald Glover. The only catch? Recipients had to wear the shoes all weekend. Here’s how the move not only gives new meaning to the term “sneaker drop”, but to influencer marketing overall.
A bright spot in the lackluster apparel and footwear market, activewear is brimming with both opportunity and competition. In fact, Adidas just knocked Nike off the top spot in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Activewear as the sole Genius brand. In addition to out-of-the-box retail experiences in store, non-traditional sneaker drops have played a center position in the brand’s marketing strategy. For example, for its March 2018 release of the Deerupt sneaker, Adidas unveiled a mobile-first unboxing site that depicts the shoe emerging from a box in an interactive rendering complete with 360-degree views. Because the Deerupt was also designed with Instagram in mind—the shoe features a silhouette optimized for the toe-down photos popularly used by sneakerhead influencers—Adidas was able to successfully appeal to these influencers to post images of the shoes to their social media pages with #deerupt, resulting in a spike in searches for the term “adidas deerupt” on both Google and YouTube.
At this point, not only are influencers packaging themselves for brands, brands are packaging their products for influencers. And though the risks of influencer marketing are real, several brands have found some creative ways around this. In its latest promotion, Adidas mixes influencer marketing with experiential marketing on a new and literal level as it leverages Glover’s celebrity to influence an audience that was already tuned in and makes the “sneaker drop” tactic new again. For brands looking for a way to kick out competitors with old methods, a new perspective is sometimes all that is required to make a classic cool again.