Converse Embraces Retro Attitude

SAN FRANCISCO The second wave of Converse sneaker ads from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners breaks this week on MTV. The campaign features 13 new short films submitted by fans of the brand.

A print component includes an insert that allows readers to “make their own statement” by designing a blank Converse shoe.

The insert will appear in December issues of Fader, Paper, Giant Robot, Vice and XLR8R.

Overall ad spending is about $5 million.

The films, which can be viewed at as well as on TV, display a wide mix of subjects, from ninjas, crumpers and basketball players wearing mullet wigs, to an all-girl rock band and an Eastern European ping-pong champ.

In the latter spot, “Grass Court,” filmmakers Paul Morrell and Zan Passant introduce viewers to Oleg, a long-haired ping-pong player wearing geeky 1970’s sports garb. In broken English, Oleg explains that he excels at table tennis, but laments that his health has kept him from participating in more high-profile sports.

“If I didn’t have such bad allergies [sniff, sniff], I would have played tennis, on grass court,” he says. “But my court is on top of table. And my goal … is to win.”

The spots from the athletic footwear company in North Reading, Mass., are scheduled to run through Dec. 16.

The first wave of the campaign broke in August, after the Sausalito, Calif.-based shop asked hundreds of artists, musicians, fashion designers, filmmakers and other creatives from across the nation to craft 25-second films inspired by Chuck Taylor shoes and the Converse brand. The only guidelines: be positive, original and inspiring.

A BSSP rep said that when the initial series of films appeared, traffic to the client’s Web site,, jumped 66 percent higher than it had been the previous August. logged nearly 400,000 visitors, and online shoe orders doubled in one month.