Out Of Home Awards Case Studies Hugo Boss

How Havas and Evolve put Boss on top: inside the global launch of Boss x Russell Athletic


By Awards Analyst, writer

November 24, 2021 | 8 min read

Havas Media Germany and Evolve OOH won the ‘International/Global Campaign’ category at The Drum Awards for Out of Home, with their high-impact campaign for Hugo Boss. Here, the team behind this winning entry breaks down the strategy and technology driving the global launch .

Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss's launch was built around the stylish, sporty, comfortable man, with actor Chris Hemsworth at its center.

Casual is the new normal

In 2020, Hugo Boss had been at the forefront of a major trend in fashion, known as casualization, with growing demand for cozy and comfortable pieces, soft cotton tees and the ubiquitous sweatpant. Hugo Boss’s solution adds timeless tailoring, such as suit pants in fluid jersey with a sporty drawstring waist, or a bomber jacket in lightweight Italian wool - not simply responding to this new way of dressing, but leading this change.

Over several seasons the share of Hugo Boss’s casualwear, athleisure, and casual tailoring business had been steadily outperforming their heritage formalwear. Some exceptionally successful partnerships with Anthony Joshua and Porsche had driven great success in casualwear, and new collaborations with American sportswear pioneer Russell Athletic and actor Chris Hemsworth were planned for 2021. As these first capsule collections were arriving in 2021, tailored pieces had never been so versatile, so contemporary, and so easy to wear. Hugo Boss’s global strategic priority switched to promoting casualwear, which is marketed through their Boss sub brand.

The team created an ambitious international OOH campaign to promote two imaginative new collaborations: Boss x Russell Athletic in March/April and Boss x Chris Hemsworth in May/June 2021.

These two distinct capsule collections were designed with strongly individual personalities, and also their own creative and media campaign strategies, while also tasked with raising Hugo Boss’s brand awareness across key global markets.


Planning a global media launch, synchronized so that social channels would carry the excitement simultaneously across multiple markets, OOH provided locations chosen to accentuate the impact of the creative messaging.

Boss x Russell Athletic

Sites selected to excite and entertain target audiences.

Boss x Chris Hemsworth

Giant sites (over 150sqm) selected to make a statement in prime locations.

Countries were identified to fit with key global markets for Hugo Boss. Supporting flagship stores in Berlin, London, Paris, New York, Sydney & Milan was one way of choosing countries but also looking to Chris Hemsworth’s huge international following, and his social followers demographics informed us that London is equal to New York with the largest concentration of followers in one city, firmly putting these two cities at the center of plans and cementing London as a key strategic location for all Boss activity.

Scoring System

OOH scoring metrics were created to evaluate potential sites against key parameters, to select the most suitable locations for each collaboration, including Target Audience Reach, Impact, Quality and CPM Efficiency.

Using local audience measurement tools to identify locations which optimize exposure through strong site lines in uncluttered environments. Bold placements to inspire the audience, with mobile integration, and clear calls to action (such as QR codes with Boss store addresses) recommended for key locations, we looked to drive greater interaction and social sharing through mobile. Through this iconic and high impact combination of format, creative and location the campaigns engaged, getting to the heart of the target audience, driving social sharing - and amplifying the launch.


Delivering an international campaign across 11 markets and 17 cities simultaneously is complex, but during a worldwide pandemic with various Covid-19 situations, the team contracted with many media owners in an unusually fluid situation. We used worldwide mobile data to track mobility, and measure any consequential loss of impact, as audiences fluctuated with lockdown status.

In the UK and France national lockdowns caused special executions (mural and 2D extension panels) to be postponed twice, with quick plan changes required throughout the entire supply chain. The experiential placements were implemented with Covid-19 safety measures, branded hand sanitizer stations and signage placed next to the installation areas.

CLPS, Underground Digital with 3D Creative, Bulletins, Wildposting, Posterframes, Murals, 3D and 2D special build 48sheets and banners and experiential executions were added for more visibility in the streets too.

This took place in London, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Zurich, Geneva, Melbourne, Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara, Madrid and Beijing Daxing Airport, across roadside, transit and airport environments.

Media first: Hologram technology on UK 48sheet and Painted Wall with a branded panel in Paris for the Boss x RA collaboration.

Close management of production across the whole campaign, with local site managers, backed up by photography and videography delivered uniformity of execution across the 17 regions.

Boss x Russell Athletic

The focal design element for the Boss x RA collaboration was the basketball and the main colors of the palette which were pink and beige. Here is a quick summary of the executions:

New York: We built an experiential space with a 5m x 5m pink basketball placed in front of Macy’s store. This execution generated significant attention and interaction.

LA: We painted wall Mural with a 2D Pink Basketball extension (50sq feet) and QR code integration

London: We took over the Clapton Trio 48Sheet Special Build (Three 48sheet Posters which created a story board, where two of them have been enhanced by 2D extensions of a basketball and Boss x RA hat).

London: We executed a media-first, Pump Station 48sheet enhanced by a 3D Holographic Basketball.

Berlin: We painted a wall mural amplified with 3D letters of both brands.

Paris: We painted a wall mural which included a 8sqm panel with an integrated QR code due to commercials on painted walls are forbidden in France. This was a very creative solution to get around the planning rules in Paris. We also did some guerrilla flyposting mixed with 2 sizes (x1 poster of 2.4m x 3.2m and x1 poster of 0.7m x 1m) for creating a dominating effect.

Milan: Massive takeover of Piazza Duomo on three massive canvases. Two of them had very special effects on them. The first had a massive 3D Basketball incorporated on its creative and the second an LED digital screen has been incorporated in the canvas with a 3D eye catching effect cut out video.

Melbourne and Sydney: 2D extensions were incorporated on two massive billboards.

Amsterdam: Take-over of large and triple digital screens with a surprising 3D cut out creative.

Boss x Chris Hemsworth

The design focus for this campaign was Chris himself. As the global face of Boss he featured front and center, an icon in a black and white color scheme. The sites chosen had to deliver the required impact, and be approved by the strict management of Chris Hemsworth. London, Berlin, New York, Milan, Paris, Beijing, Sydney, Melbourne, Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Summary and Results

The results were phenomenal, there was a real buzz surrounding both collaborations, the joint campaigns reached more than 87,394,186 impressions globally and further spread across also social media too.

Taranjit Goodwin, Hugo Boss UK, Director PR & Marketing commented; “For our first Boss x Russell Athletic campaign we wanted to create a bold statement across London by using dynamic formats that we had not tried before. 3D billboards and holographic installations fully captured the unexpected spirit of the collaboration and we were delighted with the outcome.

We were delighted with the installation of the Boss x Chris Hemsworth campaign at the Imax – a 360 degree view of the first face of Boss fashion was an Iconic moment for the brand and created high impact visibility in one of London’s busiest areas.”

The Boss Instagram account posted images from the OOH campaigns and each one generated on average 15,000 likes with multiple positive comments.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Out of Home. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.

Out Of Home Awards Case Studies Hugo Boss

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Havas Chicago is an award-winning, fully integrated global advertising company, committed to building meaningful American brands through craft and culture.

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Evolve is an independent OOH agency committed to investing in and developing new and emerging data technology in order to provide nimble, more effective, and importantly,...

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