Why I Bought the Same Shoes My Dad Used to Wear

Every once in a while there is a release that sells out quickly, silently, and with pretty much everyone going home happily. This seems to never be the case with a retro Jordan 1,3,4,5, or 11 but nonetheless it happened with the adidas Stan Smith. For a lot of younger sneakerheads, Stan Smith is the guy on that white shoe that looks kind of like a Superstar. For guys like my dad, he happened to be one of the world’s best tennis players with an iconic shoe to match. The shoe was different than everything else by adidas thanks to its leather uppers and perforated lines in lieu of the traditional three stripes.

Forty one years after the initial drop (or fifty years if you count when the years it wasn’t yet the Stan Smith) adidas accounts across the world get blessed with the original “Fairway Green” along with a couple other special releases. To be noted are collaborations with Japanese retailers Neighborhood Technical Apparel and Mastermind  and Hong Kong based Clot Inc. That said, my personal favourite pack to come out was the Stan Smith Consortium Collection which featured four models: cracked leather, textured ostrich, pebble phoenix leather, and reptilian uppers. The marketer in me wonders if the recent release an ode to 50 years on the tennis court or a response to sliding profits in 2013? In the famous words of the girl from the Old El Paso commercial “why don’t we have both”?

One of the highlights of the recent campaign was the out of the box use of Twitter. Along with the typical celebrity seeding, pop-up stores, and blog hype, adidas launched a Twitter campaign that inspired an amazing amount of engagement. The campaign was a massive success, and got brand advocates to tweet their picture along with #StanSmith for a chance to get Stanified.

 The Google Trend Graph for “Stan Smith” is probably the best representation of the success of this campaign. Check out the spike in the far right below:

Whether or not adidas decided to use this as a response to the profits or as an early defense against Nike’s BHM, YOTH, and All-Star weekend collections it does prove that Nike has some stiff competition.

If you want to see what Bloomberg thinks on the topic take a read at their article here.

Here are five reasons why the adidas Stan Smith is my favourite February (January for the USA) release.

  1. 2014’s best sneaker marketing campaign. I’m still choked I didn’t get a pair with my face on it.
  2. 40 million pairs sold make it one of the most popular sneakers of all time
  3. adidas didn’t skimp  on the quality
  4. I’m a sucker for a retro with a story
  5. The video for the launch exemplifies everything the shoe is: classy, timeless, sporty, and original

Check out the videos on the adidas Originals YouTube here and here.



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