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Adidas to Customize Shoes With Instagram Photos

  |  May 22, 2014   |  Comments

By leveraging the wealth of social content on Instagram, Adidas will incorporate consumers’ digital experiences into its new line of sneakers.

Adidas customers will soon be able to "Instagramize" their shoes. Coming this summer, Adidas' photo printing app will allow shoppers to customize their sneakers with Instagram images.

With the new mobile app, which will roll out on iPhone and Android in August, consumers looking to purchase Adidas ZX Flux sneakers will be able to print out their Instagram images to create custom shoe designs. "Print your favorite photos straight onto one of 2014's hottest silhouettes and make a statement on your sneakers like never before," says Adidas on Instagram.

The app is part of Adidas' mi adidas project, where customers can customize their shoes with different colors and personalized logos. 

This isn't the first time a sneaker company has looked to attract consumers with bespoke options. Adidas' rival Nike allows customers to pick up their shoe colors and materials through the Nike iD program. Puma also initiated a customizable sneaker project called Puma Mongolian BBQ several years ago.

But compared to competitors like Nike and Puma, Adidas is taking a step forward and making the customization of their product inherently social, by leveraging content on Instagram.

"Nike's shoe customization tool, Nike iD, lives in the walled garden of the brand's e-commerce site, barely leveraging the ripe world of social content, in comparison to Adidas' new app," says Hannah Suher, research and analytics manager at socialdeviant, a Chicago-based social media agency.

The idea of incorporating consumers' digital experiences into physical products also brings personalization to the next level. "The allure of [this campaign] is not about customization. It's about personalization in a way that downloads memories we've digitally captured in time onto tangible and touchable objects," says Mike Proulx, executive vice president and director of social media at Hill Holliday, a Boston-based digital marketing agency.

The price of a customized ZX Flux sneaker was not disclosed, and it's unclear if the Instagram campaign will boost Adidas' revenue. But one thing is for sure: By leveraging the power of Instagram, Adidas is creating a new form of offline social media, as its shoes will no doubt get people talking about the brand.

So what can brands learn from Adidas' Instagram campaign? "The biggest takeaway is to think very broadly about their creative canvas," Proulx tells ClickZ.

Media channels have no boundaries, he says, so brands should abandon a channel-by-channel planning approach to marketing.

Moving forward, more and more brands will try to leverage the massive amount of social content available, as Adidas has, and "find innovative ways to close the gap between social content and e-commerce," adds Suher.

"The ultimate winners will partner with the social platforms to create immersive [and] exciting experiences that add value for [consumers] and encourage people to share their creation," she says.

Image via Shutterstock.


Yuyu Chen

Yuyu Chen is a reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.

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