Converse has teamed up with Gorillaz, Andre 3000 and LCD Sound System's James Murphy in a transmedia campaign that sees the brand release a free music track, a new collection of Gorillaz designed Chuck Taylor shoes and a veritable host of content online.
The song 'Do Ya Thing' is the latest in Converse's ongoing “Three Artists. One Song” content series, which has seen Hot Chip, Bernard Sumner and Hot City pool talent to create a song, among a host of other collaborations. It's part of Converse's music strategy, which has also seen the brand launch a music studio Converse Rubber Tracks, in Brooklyn, where undiscovered artists can lay down tracks for free.
Fans can download the latest song from the Converse website or in select stores via a QR code. There's also an online video clip, which fuses the animated world of Gorillaz with real life footage and sees the group joined by animated interpretations of Andre 3000 and James Murphy. Then there's all the extra content: behind-the-scenes videos, teasers and more. Converse reached out to audiences via social media and a blogger engagement program to share and amplify the content and let the fans promote it for them.
If you have one of the most iconic cult shoes in the world, how do you maintain its authenticity but also stay relevant and appeal to new generations of fans? That's the challenge Converse faces and it’s clearly the driver behind the strategy to push its music credentials. The success of any idea will be the artists and the authenticity of what they create.
In this case it's a solid effort. Everything the Gorillaz touch seems to turn to gold so throwing in Andre 3000 and James Murphy, ensures a strong showing for Converse. Gorillaz are arguably one of the most tech-savvy music acts around and a ‘making of’ video is guaranteed to attract eyeballs. Add in the limited edition shoe designs and this is a solid platform from Converse.
The kudos and flow on effect for the brand is achieved, the music is free which keeps it authentic. It taps into the latest trends of collaboration and sharing and it provides a shoe brand with a legitimate entertainment platform.
There’s nothing new about brands using music and popular artists to appeal to youth audiences. Music has become the go-to channel for brands trying to win over the kids and there is currently so much of it these days you can’t leave the house without tripping over a brand + music artist collaboration.
However, Converse have heritage, the Chuck Taylor shoe has enjoyed a long association with music and artists and Converse have seized on this with the ‘Made in Music’ tagline. Converse have also gone deeper than other brands with the music studio, and this strategy will reap dividends as Converse tell the stories of the people who are using the studios and share their creations, which they have just started doing online.
This particular collaboration is a winner, but this strategy and the entertainment value is only as good as the artists that Converse sign up. However, there is huge potential with Converse Rubber Tracks platform. One to watch.
I give it 4 stars.