Last February, Sperry Top-Sider's parent company Wolverine Worldwide and its agency, mono, launched the Odyssey Project to follow 80 ambassadors -- nicknamed "Intrepids" -- as they documented their unique adventures on social media.
Now, mono and Sperry are entering the next iteration of their "Odyssey" campaign by having the rock band Hunter Hunted serve as Intrepids as they play acoustic sets in unfamiliar places. For instance, they took a trip to a sea cave where no one has ever recorded music before.
"As with all of our Odyssey Project travelers, we sought to find a group of musicians who were adventurous and excited about embarking on a journey to explore the unknown and unfamiliar," says Stephanie Brocoum, SVP of marketing at Sperry. "They are young, talented storytellers and are willing to go out on a ledge and take their music to an entirely new place. Their Odyssey took them off the coast of California to play acoustic sets in locales accessible only by boat."
This fall campaign will feature images and videos captured by the group during their Odyssey. The content is heavy on video and digital with partners including YouTube, Spotify, Rolling Stone, Cosmo, as well as print publications including Teen Vogue,Glamour, Maxim. The content will also be distributed and seen on Sperry’s social channels including sperry.com and will be integrated with the ongoing Odyssey Project.
The effort is timed to the launch with the band's new album to maximize visibility and social media chatter.
And there’s more to come. "We continue to reach out to new travelers and create new adventures for them individually," says Michael Hart, founder and managing creative director at mono. "If anything, our Odysseys are becoming more diverse, daring, and ambitious. The next few odysseys we'll be sharing involve shark tagging and swimming with blue whales; along with tattoo artists discovering Maori art that may possibly inform and improve their craft."
This on-going initiative is guided by heavy financial support. Sperry is receiving a majority of Wolverine's 2015 spend with media investment expected to be triple the amount spent in 2014. In the first quarter 2015, Wolverine has spent $4.08 million supporting Sperry, up from $2.44 million year-over-year. Sperry's full year ad budget was $8.7 million in 2014, according to Kantar Media. Plus, Wolverine is investing $30 million in annual incremental marketing spend going forward.
Since the campaign launch, Sperry has seen double digit increases in brand awareness, a primary objective of the work. Plus, it has already delivered nearly 500 million digital and print impressions. Offline efforts include a remodeling of in-store displays to further burnish the brand’s image.