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Hey Honey on how it helped Crocs Europe ensure its first collaboration was a smash hit

Hey Honey won the ‘Best Integrated Marketing Campaign’ category at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021 with its campaign for Crocs Europe. Here, the team behind the winning entries reveals the secrets of this successful project…

The challenge

Crocs is a seasoned collab brand – the global team in the US has conducted collaborations with the world’s hottest musicians, designers, influencers and brands, including Justin Beiber, Post Malone, Christopher Kane, Balenciaga, Nicole Mclaughlin, ChinaTown Market, Peeps and more, with record sellout times. Building on the hype of the Supreme Generation, the exclusivity of limited editions has caused much of a stir across the world for the clog brand. However, this was Crocs Europe’s first major collaboration, so the pressure was on to follow in the footsteps of the global team.

There was only one true goal of this campaign and that was to sell out the Vladimir Cauchemar Crocs within 24 hours. Alongside that, from a content marketing standpoint, we had KPIs to achieve for engagement rate (2.5%) and video view rates (15%) to prove the relevance and resonance of the campaign with our target audiences.

The strategy

To be able to sell these Crocs, we needed to extend our content beyond just the Crocs Europe Instagram channel, which currently stood at 50,000 followers and consists of users across the whole of EMEA. As this was a predominantly French campaign, using a French DJ and producer, we looked for media and influencer partners to help us spread the word. We also utilized the artist’s social platform and community too (270,000 followers) to distribute the content and generate sign-ups and click throughs to the ’buy now’ page.

The chosen media partners consisted of Konbini and Booska P – two French publishers on Instagram that were hyper-relevant to our target audience in France. Together, these media partners have 4 million followers.

Together, with Vladimir, we shortlisted 100 influencers from the music and DJ scene in Europe to seed the product too and encouraged them to post stories of the Vladimir Cauchemar Crocs.

The look and feel of the campaign, the hero video and all the assets created from it really needed to match Vladimir Cauchemar’s style and character. Inspired by the underground Serbian music scene and combining it with aspects of fashionable Parisian streetwear styles, Vladimir’s personal style nods to retro aesthetics.

The campaign

From the hero campaign video we created various assets to be released over the course of the campaign to instill fomo in our audience and build hype about the collab. The campaign was rolled out in three phases, with various assets playing a particular purpose.

Teasing phase (January 14, 2021): 4 days before the launch we wanted to build a rumour mill for the collab, with explicitly telling people there was a collab and who it was with. We created an infomercial inspired asset that was posted on Vladimir’s Instagram channel.

Sign-Up phase (January 21-28, 2021): A week before the clog was actually available to buy we wanted to seed the product through content on Instagram and YouTube, with the goal of generating a minimum of 3,000 email sign-ups. We exceeded that goal and generated over 6,500 email sign-ups.

We launched the main hero video on IGTV and YouTube, drove traffic towards the sign-up page with a 15 second story cut down, an animated gif and still hero photography in carousel ads. We made use of Instagram’s ad format in which people can enter their emails without leaving the platform.

We seeded influencer packages to 100 change makers in the music and DJ scene across the six main markets, with some Vladimir Crocs and socks as well as a branded bottle of vodka.

Buy Now phase (January 28, 2021, 5pm CET): Users could finally get in line to order the Vladimir Cauchemar Crocs on the website. In the 20 minutes leading up to the launch, we hosted a perfectly synchronized live stream of Vladimir’s DJ set on both VC’s Instagram channel and Crocs Europe.

As soon as the limited edition clog had sold out, users were taken to a sold out page on which they could play a retro 8-bit game designed by the web developers, screenshot their score and post on social media tagging and following Crocs Europe to be entered into a competition to win the LAST pair of Vladimir Cauchemar Crocs.

Most notably, we even brought Bernie Sanders in on the fun mid-launch, injecting the collab into the viral trending conversation: “TFW when you miss out on VC Crocs”. (This was the most engaged organic post from the whole launch).

The results

The aim of this campaign was to sell out the limited edition Crocs in 24 hours. We sold out the Vladimir Cauchemar x Crocs in 3 hours. Other social media content KPIs were also massively exceeded:

  • Engagement rate was 7% when the benchmark was 2.5%

  • Video wiew rate was 43.5% when the benchmark was 15%

We managed to achieve our standard margins, regardless of the Covid-19 restrictions and having to remotely manage a crew in Paris.

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for Digital Industries 2021. Find out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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