New Balance Hopes ‘365’ Videos Will Reap Awareness, Direct Sales

New Balance on Monday began a one-year online marketing program that features a video for each day. Dubbed “New Balance 365,” the campaign’s clips – directed by the experimental Swedish ads creator Jesper Koothoofd – will run under :30 at a dedicated site and promote the sneaker brand’s spring/summer line.

“[This] approach allows us to feature a wider range of key products that appeal to a diverse consumer base,” said Steve Gardner, the strategic business unit manager for New Balance Lifestyle. “The series additionally offers an opportunity to continue to engage…the consumer over time.”

Gardner said the Boston-based manufacturer will judge the campaign’s effectiveness a year from now with the following metrics: unique visitors per month, video views, and time spent on NewBalance365.com.

There’s also a direct-sales element. The end of each video is marked by a “Purchase” button, directing users to that day’s featured product’s details page on New Balance’s e-commerce site.

Gardner described the initiative as “the fusion of content and commerce. On the branding side, we interact with our consumer base on a daily approach [while creating] the opportunity to transact on a daily basis.”

Thumbnail image for NB.jpg Interestingly, the campaign incorporates an iPhone alarm clock app. Downloadable at the dedicated site, the app is designed to wake users with different daily sounds and sights from the videos. It also allows users to track a set of personal sleep statistics and includes a community feature letting them compare sleep patterns to others using the app.

Taylor Duffy, integrated marketing manager for New Balance Lifestyle, stressed organic viral growth as a key to the campaign during its initial weeks. She explained that the brand will look for word to spread through the iPhone app, general online buzz, posters/image stills from the videos placed in retail stores, regular traffic at NewBalance.com getting redirected to the dedicated site, and seeded clips at YouTube, Facebook, and DailyMotion.

“If the opportunity to run paid media either online or in print presents itself, then we will certainly evaluate it,” Duffy said. “However, we don’t believe it’s essential to the success of this effort.”

New York-based agency Mother and the director Koothoofd collaborated with New Balance’s in-house marketing team to create the campaign. Better known in Europe, the video series marks Koothoofd’s U.S. ad debut. The creative he’s developed for New Balance can be described as decidedly quirky, visually colorful, and unpredictable.

Meanwhile, Mother and New Balance are following up on a similar stint from last fall. In September, the brand leaned on online videos to create awareness for its limited-edition shoe called 574 Clips. The initiative entailed a short video for each of the sneaker line’s 574 styles.

Gardner said the traffic and impressions data from that campaign encouraged the brand to commit to the “365” series, because the “Clips” program showed this model could drive retail transactions. He added that merchants and consumers provided “strong feedback that this is how our consumer wants to be reached through media.”

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