- Sports footwear brand Vans transformed two transit vans into replicas of its Sk8-Hi MTE-3 shoes and toured them in tandem through New York, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. The effort also saw a tie-up with influencers New York Nico and Lil Mo Mozzarella.
- The van duo, coined “Vans vans,” mirrored near exact details of its MTE-3 shoes both inside and out and allowed consumers to view the interior and exterior at designated stops. Consumers were also given free pairs of the shoes.
- Vans opted for the out-of-home activation to call out the shoes’ functionality in cold and rainy weather. The effort garnered over 1.4 million organic video views on Instagram.
Vans is the latest brand to supersize its product in the spirit of out-of-pocket consumer marketing tactics. Others who have taken to the concept include L.L. Bean, who for a long time has had its iconic duck boot crafted into a traveling “Bootmobile,” and Oscar Mayer, who partnered last year with Lyft to convert its Wienermobile into a ride-hailing vehicle.
Vans’ 10-foot shoe replicas, complete with the brand’s well-known checkered pattern, took to the metropolitan streets of New York, traveling through Manhattan’s meatpacking district to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and from Long Island City to the city’s Upper West Side. At designated stops, consumers could get an up-close view of the shoes and get a free pair of their own.
User-generated social media content from the activation proved to be a success point for Vans, with the OOH effort gathering over one million video views and 88,000 likes on Instagram. For those who missed the event or don’t live in NYC, the brand will be sharing content captured during the activation on its social media channels.
The promo is “something new for the brand,” and was meant to tangibly illustrate the features of the high top sneakers, according to Bruno Luglio, Vans Americas’ creative director, who is quoted in the release. Previous marketing initiatives have included developing a virtual skatepark in Roblox and creating custom Spotify playlists.
“Vans has a long history of hosting unique events but this time we decided to do something different, because the product is different,” Luglio said. “Our goal is to illustrate the benefits of MTE in a bigger way, no pun intended – It's a product demo meets product test drive.”