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If you’re into trainers, there’s nothing worse than having camped out overnight to get first dibs on the latest drop from Nike, and walking into your local trainer shop to find out that they’re all out of your size. For a few lucky Foot Locker customers, their trip to the store was greeted with an unexpected surprise; in the retailer’s latest US campaign, random shoppers were flown to Foot Locker stores around the world to get their hands on their favourite creps in a unique experience dubbed ‘Pick Up Trips’. We discover the insights behind the ad and how offering unique experience to people on shopping trips is a step in the right direction.

Created by BBDO New York, the campaign sees some sole collectors enter various Foot Locker stores in the US and London searching for Airmax Silver Bullet 97s. When the grave news that they’re out of stock is broken, they’re offered the chance to pick them up in a different branch. Herein lies the kicker – the branch that does have what they want in stock is half-way across the world in locations like Milan or Amsterdam. Having picked up their shoes, they’re then free to indulge in a slice of authentic Italian pizza or take a boat ride along the Amsterdam canals. “Honestly, from the bottom of my heart, this has been a dream come true,” says one of lucky winners in praise of Foot Locker, who will no doubt be quick to share their exclusive experience on Facebook pages like Wavey Kicks and other sneaker appreciation forums.

Foot Locker is giving sneakerheads a surprise
Foot Locker (2017) ©

The campaign plays on a human desire for serendipity and discovery. Brand marketing VP of Foot Locker Jed Berger says he wanted to evoke “that feeling of discovery, which is a big part of being a sneakerhead and a unique characteristic of our consumers.” In a tech-infused world where people are have more control over their busy schedules than ever, they’ve slowly weaned out any potential for surprise, even though it can intensify emotions by 400% – and Foot Locker is hoping to be the source.

Surprise also has the ability to create strong connections between brand and customer by exceeding their expectations a brand can create a longlasting relationship. As a result, the lucky winners are more than likely to return to Foot Locker – instead of a rival – for their next purchase. Seeing as 50% of brand experience is based on how a customer feels, it’s definitely a smart move.

Lucy Thompson works in the client services department at Canvas8. She lives in Brixton and spends her free time hunting down the meanest Negronis or trundling about the Kentish countryside.


02 May 17
2 min read

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