Viral marathon for the new saucony running shoes

A social media & affinity display advertising measures from WAX Interactive

WAX Interactive Paris was chosen by Saucony, the brand of reference in the world of running, to develop, manage, and implement a comprehensive online promotion system as part of its launch of 3 new products in autumn 2015. Developed using an Earn Media strategy, the whole communications plan is structured around a right on target display advertising campaign and a Facebook contest to reinforce the virality of the operation.

Saucony - The footwear brand of reference

The Saucony brand was founded in 1898 in Pennsylvania and takes its name from 'Saucony Creek', the creek alongside which the group's very first factory was established. The brand has now become an international reference in the world of running. Saucony is owned by Wolverine World Wide ($1.23 billion turnover), a shoe manufacturing group whose catalogue includes in particular brands such as Sebago, Caterpillar and even Harley-Davidson. In 2011, 110 years after its creation, Saucony announced that it was establishing a presence in France and has since taken place of honour in the French running market.

3 new pairs of 'running shoes' for a demanding community

In early 2015 Saucony marketed three new pairs of shoes, each developed to meet the needs of its target market. All of them - the Triumph ISO, Huricane Iso and Zealot ISO - have specific characteristics which enable athletes to personalise how they practise their sport.This year the brand wants to promote its new products on the web to sports amateurs and enthusiasts. The brand also wants to consolidate its online reputation with its core target audience, who are an extremely dynamic community on the web.

Consistency, effectiveness, virality: key words of the media campaign

Chosen by Saucony at the end of 2014 in order to develop and implement a test online advertising campaign, the American brand has again chosen the expertise of WAX Interactive this year for an expanded system with 3 main objectives:

  • To boost the networks through virality and boost the number of Facebook fans,
  • To reinforce the reputation of the brand and involvement of the community,
  • To promote the new products and content produced by Saucony.

This consistent and effective campaign was conceived using an 'Earn Media' strategy by the WAX Interactive Paris teams. The whole system was developed around 3 cornerstones:

  • affinity and specifically-targeted media buying on websites viewed by running, marathon, and hiking enthusiasts: namely Saucony's core target audience e.g. 'Running Attitude' & 'Track & News'
  • a push on 'Runtastic' or 'Runkeeper'-type mobile applications which are displayed at the end of each jogging session
  • a contest exclusively on Facebook to boost the system through very simple virality where you have to scratch the screen with your finger or using the mouse to try to win a pair of shoes

A successful campaign - Objectives surpassed

Throughout the operation, which took place during February 2015, the WAX Interactive Paris teams managed the system in order to optimise the budgets allotted for each channel as well as possible. The challenge was to maximise the profitability of the investment to make it possible to surpass the initial objectives. The bet paid off and the figures speak for themselves:

  • On Facebook: 2.3 million print-outs, +7,600 Facebook fans acquired, and 45,000 video views (two times more than expected) which generated approximately 50 % clicks more than the initial objective
  • On display advertising: 30 % of the share of voice maintained during the campaign, 600,000 print-outs or 20 % more than expected, and above all a click rate which is 3 times higher in February than during the November test campaign
  • On mobiles: 16,000 clicks generated for a million views.

Lauren Garbay, Marketing Executive, Saucony France, adds: "At Saucony, we are very satisfied with the results achieved by the campaigns managed by WAX Interactive. In addition to a momentum found on Facebook, in terms of the number of fans, we also significantly improved engagement of the community with our content, which is what is important."