Crocs, the clog that has gone from fashion punchline to financial comeback, is using a revamped influencer-plus-celebrity strategy to introduce what it says is its most comfortable shoe yet. Spokesperson Drew Barrymore sings and dances her way through a small-scale musical, for this year’s version of the “Come As You Are” campaign, which includes a custom Audience Lens for Snapchat users. And it’s using different techniques with global influencers for the launch of LiteRid, Crocs CMO Terence Reilly explains to Marketing Daily.
Q. Influencers have been very effective for fashion brands. Why does it feel smart move for Crocs, since many people still think of the brand as…anti-fashion?
A. There’s a lightbulb that goes off in people’s heads the first time they try on Crocs. They get it. Crocs are the most comfortable shoe in the world, but if you haven’t worn them before, there can be a barrier. Influencers help us create relevance by building brand credibility, showing consumers how to style Crocs, and showcasing our product range beyond the Classic Clog.
Q. The new ad, from R/GA Austin, features a few people who are adorably unstylish, like the guy in the Hawaiian shirt. Why the spoofing?
A. We had a lot of fun with casting. Crocs is a very democratic brand. Our target includes mom and kids, the fashion-forward and function-forward, the athleisure-minded and those who just prefer leisure. So, we put our unapologetically optimistic spin on that by showcasing different kinds of people who value comfort. We even highlighted our global celebrity ambassadors including Yoona, the South Korean musician and actress and Henry, an international singer, songwriter, and composer, in an all-cast version of the musical.
Q. What new customers are you hoping to reach with LiteRide?
A. This is Crocs’ biggest comfort innovation in our company’s history. The goal of was to deliver an innovative level of comfort while growing our offerings within the trending athleisure category.
This means attracting an audience that values comfort in a slightly different way than the typical Crocs consumer, which is why our influencer strategy has been a major component of the LiteRide product launch.
Q. Could you explain the influencer strategy?
A. For LiteRide, we had a three-pronged influencer approach. First, we wanted to break through. Next, we wanted to explain the product features and benefits. And finally, we wanted to highlight the variety of wearing occasions associated with the LiteRide collection.
So we tapped content creators who could visually communicate that the LiteRide collection is “part science, part magic” through optical illusions and had a slightly different following. The content received the exact type of commentary that we were hoping for in social.
To explain product features and benefits, we targeted video influencers who were a little younger than our typical influencers. The video element was important to be able to communicate how light and comfortable the product was through “unboxing videos.”
Finally, we did tap some of our fashion influencers to style the various designs of the LiteRide collection. We also leveraged our global celebrities, including Drew Barrymore, through the launch of her first Instagram Story talking about the LiteRide collection to gain more exposure.
Q: Why is Barrymore a good fit for Crocs?
A. She is famous throughout the world, was a Crocs fan before we worked together, and embodies what it means to ‘Come As You Are’ in her daily life. Plus, she resonates with moms, one of our key global audiences.
Q: In the most recent quarterly earnings, Crocs beat expectations for both sales and profits, and the CEO credits high-impact marketing. Can you say what aspect of marketing has had the most impact?
A. First, we have an amazing marketing team and partners who care deeply about our brand, and it shows. The ‘Come As You Are’ message has strongly resonated with consumers globally. Our celebrity cast has created greater brand relevance amongst our target audiences. And, we’ve shifted more media dollars into digital, social and influencers, which is driving more buzz and conversation about the brand across social platforms.