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How Nike got footwear fanatics waiting in-line on Instagram

By tapping into avid Sneakerheads’ passion for waiting in-line for the hottest new kicks, digital agency PostVisual, a J. Walter Thompson company, just created the first ever Hashtag queue, encouraging footwear fanatics to wait in-line on Instagram, to win a chance to buy limited edition Nike Air Max. View Case Study video.

Background
Passing by sneaker shops like Nike, one can often spot dozens of people, waiting in line to buy a pair of limited edition trainers. It may seem strange to see people waiting overnight in their personal tents just to buy shoes, but for ‘Sneaker Heads’, this art of waiting is a defining ritual for their culture and lifestyle. And so, Nike Korea’s 2018 Air Max campaign was prompted by the question, ‘Can we extend their line-forming energy into the digital realm, and make it fun?’

The fashion-savvy, sneaker-loving, trendy customers on Instagram use hashtags to show off their style, and to connect with each other. Fully aware of this behavior, for this year’s Air Max campaign, Nike’s digital agency PostVisual utilized hashtags and Instagram feeds that display in chronological order.

Execution
Joining the Lucky Draw was made easy, simply visit the Nike event website, create a personalized avatar using a character and items inspired by Korean street culture, and with each avatar comes a random draw number. Post the avatar on Instagram with #AIRMAXLINE and stand the chance to buy a special pair of Air Max Limited Edition.

Clicking on #AIRMAXLINE (or searching it on Instagram) reveals an interesting and fun visual of connected avatars, all waiting in line on Instagram. Incorporating the individual design theme of the Air Max Special Editions on each feed image, the Air Max Line stays relevant to these highly treasured sneakers.

Result
The campaign was a great success. During the 2-week campaign period, over 80,000 Sneaker Heads got in line. The creative energy of the campaign expanded to other social platforms like Facebook and blogs. Over 80,000 core targets flooded the social media with Air Max posting, resulting at least 15,000,000 exposures and over 800,000 reaches. Given the absence of paid media, this is very significant engagement and reach.

“As we planned this campaign, we were quite concerned about a scenario where people would use the hashtag #AIRMAXLINE for different purposes, not related to this campaign. After all, hashtags can’t be monopolized. But as we launched the campaign, we saw the intended results – Instagram Feed without any noise. We strongly believe it was the authenticity of our targets that led this campaign to success.” says Euna Seol, CCO of PostVisual.

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