Nike has discovered the joys of Instagram. The sportswear maker recently began inviting users of the popular photo sharing site to take part in its NikeiD campaign, which lets users design, share and purchase customized versions of Nike gear.
With this new wrinkle, Instagram users who go to the PHOTOiD site can select their favorite Instagram shot as a background for the Nike Air Max model of their choice, which with the click of a button is customized based on the colors in the photo. From there, users can either purchase the custom-designed shoe or simply share the shot over Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as via an online gallery where users can browse the designs of other Instagram users.
Nike is not alone in discovering the potential for marketing via Instagram, which has some 90 million active users according to the latest estimates of the company. Brands including Starbucks, American Express and Burberry have been actively making use of the platform. But Nike’s strategy stands out, according to Thibault Davoult, content and community manager with Nitrogram, a Paris-based marketing platform focused on Instagram.
“Few other brands have ventured to build a campaign that is so well integrated with Instagram,” says Davoult. “It's more than a classic photo contest; they're really creating an experience for their fans.” Nike is one of the top brands on the platform, with some 1.2 million followers.
Davoult cites Mercedes Benz as another brand making cutting edge use of the platform. In a campaign it dubbed #Untamed, the German car manufacturer in April unveiled what it called the first digital photo installation. Mercedes curated and then featured the most unique Instagram photos, which it then featured on a dedicated website as well as at an installation at the Mercedes-Benz Pop-Up Store in Paris.
“Other brands are leveraging Instagram without creating such an immersive experience. The difference is that Nike and Mercedes have built their own application on top of Instagram's API so they can customize it,” noted Davoult.
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Mary Lisbeth D'Amico is a freelance writer based in Jersey City who frequently covers digital marketing, social media, tech startups, and venture capital. She has contributed to a wide range of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Red Herring, and Real Deals. Find her on Twitter at @mldamico.
March 19, 2014