Foot Locker Customers Who Can’t Find the Right Sneakers Are Sent to Other Stores … Across the Atlantic

Quite a kick from BBDO

Great kicks can help you fly, but this is ridiculous.

Sneakerheads know the drill: You hit Foot Locker for some shoes, but they don’t have the exact model you want, or a pair in your size.

Sometimes the associate sends you to one of the chain’s other locations that has the merchandise in stock. You usually don’t have to go far—a few miles down the road to the next glorious strip mall.

But what if a Foot Locker in New York sent you jetting to Milan, Italy, to get your shoes? Or a Toronto store had you fly to Amsterdam? Or a clerk at your fave London outlet suggested a sneaker pickup in NYC?

And what if Foot Locker supplied free airline tickets and offered to pay for local accommodations, plus a per diem to cover time away from your soul-sucking (or maybe sole-sucking) workplace?

Oh, and there’s a car waiting outside to whisk off you to the airport, because you have to leave right now!

All that can only mean one thing: You’re inside a hidden-camera commercial, so relax and enjoy the ride.

BBDO devised those three international “Pick Up Trips,” documented in the clip above, as part of a campaign to emphasize the client’s global—trying to avoid pun, but there’s no holding back—footprint.

“With more than 1,800 stores around the world, Foot Locker wants to celebrate global sneaker culture in a unique way, client vp of marketing Jed Berger tells AdFreak. “We know that customers sometimes have to hunt for the latest new releases, and that can mean having to travel to multiple stores. That feeling of discovery is a big part of being a sneakerhead and a unique characteristic of our consumers.”

That’s cool. But how did Foot Locker select the customers? They’d need valid passports and be free to travel, at the very least, so the whole thing seems a tad less than spontaneous.

“It varied by country,” Berger says. “Dashawn Martin, the participant in the video who goes from New York to Milan, is a member of the Foot Locker VIP program. Through an email survey he received as a part of that program, Foot Locker was able to identify him and confirm his ability and willingness to travel during this time period. Foot Locker asked him to stop by the NYC store at a given time, but he was not given any indication of the purpose.”

That’s about as close to “real” as reality advertising gets.

The dudes in the video seem to be having the times of their lives, and the still below provides a sneakerhead take on a local Italian custom. Berger explains:

“We had the travelers spin on the bulls’ balls at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II for good luck. It was a fun shot, because you put your heel into a hole in the ground and spin on a tile mural of a bull. It was an awesome way to highlight the product and experience a tourist attraction and Milanese culture.”

Ahi, i coglioni!

Along with the video, Foot Locker has enlisted various social influencers and sneakerheads to share content using the #MySneakerStories tag. It’s also tagging select product images with #GloballyApproved to promote launch product available at Foot Locker locations worldwide.

Client – Foot Locker

Agency – BBDO
David Lubars – Chief Creative Officer Worldwide
Greg Hahn – Chief Creative Officer New York
Chris Beresford-Hill – Executive Creative Director
Dan Lucey – Executive Creative Director
Martins Zelcs – Art Director
Bryan Stokely – Copywriter
Janelle Van Wonderen – SVP, Account Director
Laura McWhorter – Account Manager
Sam Henderson – Account Manager
Christian Martinez – Assistant Account Executive
Amy Orgel – Project Manager
Steve Panawek – Strategy Director
James Mullally – Communications Planners