Five years ago, Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe was published and completely changed the conversation on running. The New York Times bestseller convinced the world that all runners wanted to run barefoot. But while there are some runners who championed the minimalist experience of ‘feeling’ the ground beneath them, Brooks discovered there were others who didn’t relate to the movement and preferred to ‘float.’ In light of this Brooks needed to prove itself as the running shoe for ALL runners. Powered by runner insights, Brooks developed the Transcend: the ultimate float shoe. Positioned as Brooks’ biggest product launch to date, the Transcend shoe launch deserved something special beyond a print ad.
Building excitement among key influencers, retailers, and running enthusiasts early was crucial to the success of the product. So Brooks created a series of ‘distinctly Brooks’ stunts aimed at running influencers. Six months prior to the on-sale date, the Transcend shoe debuted on Brooks’ biggest stage, the Summer Outdoor Retailer Convention in Salt Lake City. In addition, mobile warming huts were installed along popular running routes in Chicago in the dead of winter. The night before the on-sale date, runners were invited to midnight runs at 100+ retailers—causing lines to form around the block.
Brooks knew media efforts had to be just as transcendent. Clearly positioned as Brooks’ biggest, most important product launch to date, the Transcend deserved something special beyond a magazine ad or online video spot. So what better way to announce the Transcend shoe to the world than by partnering with Runner’s World, the industry’s leading publication and trusted resource for runners everywhere? In a first for both the magazine and the running industry, 1,000 copies of the March issue of Runner’s World were inserted with a print ad built with an actual video screen playing 6 minutes of Transcend video content, including the world premiere of the shoe’s official commercial – content that, up until this point, would have only been viewable online.
As soon as issues went out, instantaneous positive buzz began to emerge around the world. Initial sales were out of this world! Brooks exceeded its launch sales goal by 360% as the Transcend shoe accounted for 7% of all shoe transactions at retailers that first weekend alone.