New Trail of Footprints

Big Bang, WongDoody Craft Brooks, K2 Ads
LOS ANGELES–Athletic shoe companies Brooks Sports and K2 Corp. both look to expand their core consumer base with print campaigns breaking this month.
Big Bang (formerly Big Bang Idea Engineering) has developed a brand-building effort for Brooks inspired by the company’s devoted clientele to attract disenchanted consumers of larger, corporate-driven brands, according to executives at the Seattle- and San Diego-based agency.
“We’re beginning to take Brooks’ small, passionate, grassroots personality [to a broader audience],” said executive creative director Wade Koniakowsky.
The estimated $3 million campaign attempts to dramatize what comfort really means to the everyday runner. One ad highlights the benefits of cushioning by showing a foot sticking up in the air, its sole covered by colorful marshmallows. Another shows a squirrel snoozing inside a shoe to capture the idea of coziness and comfort.
Building on the Bothwell, Wash.-based company’s momentum–its sales were up more than 20 percent last year–the ads will appear in general consumer publications, including Time and Newsweek, as well as traditional fitness and running titles. Event marketing and radio, outdoor, Internet and point-of-sale ads are also part of the media mix, which is being handled by Carat USA.
“Our retailers have embraced the campaign in a big way,” said Tom Daley, Brooks’ director of marketing.
Separately, WongDoody’s Santa Monica, Calif., office has created print ads for K2’s new shoe line, which is rolling out nationwide this month. The line is geared toward the alternative sports audience: customers who need athletic shoes for when they are not snowboarding, skiing or biking.
The estimated $1 million campaign humorously compares K2 wearers with other kinds of people. In one ad, a nerdy chess player is associated with a poodle, toilet and pocket protector, while the K2 kid prefers a Rottweiler, tree and K2 shoes.
“The advertising shows the conflict between mainstream culture and the counterculture of snowboarding,” said creative director Tracy Wong. “It doesn’t explicitly say who wins out, but takes you through a process which is fun, biting and cynical.”
The ads are running in Rolling Stone, Spin, TW Snowboarding and other national publications.