It’s hard to sell a product without the proper marketing, and 2018 was full of buzzy campaigns that captivated consumers’ attention. As per its usual history, Nike disrupted the scene with controversial figures and matter-of-fact statements, while Yeezy relied on the power of social media and his wife’s fame to draw attention. Meanwhile, Payless tricked a lot of people with its luxury pop-up scheme.
Read on below to revisit some of the most memorable marketing campaigns of the year.
Nike x Colin Kaepernick
Nike dominated a lot of conversation this year with its marketing, especially its ads featuring ex-NFL star Colin Kaepernick. For the 30th anniversary of the brand’s “Just Do It” campaign, Nike featured an image of Kaepernick with the words: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” The images were rolled out on Instagram and billboards around the country, and several individuals and celebrities threw their support behind Nike for standing behind the activist, including LeBron James, Jenifer Lewis and Serena Williams. However, it also sparked criticisms as a few Nike fans turned to destroying product as a means of protest, while some commentators stated that the company is using Kaepernick’s call for social justice as simply another means for profit.
Reebok by Pyer Moss, “American Also”
Watch on FN
Pyer Moss founder Kerby Jean-Raymond has had a year. He nabbed first place for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, and he took home FN’s Collaboration of the Year honor after his fall ’18 and spring ’19 shows generated a whirlwind of buzz around his socially conscious lifestyle brand. To mark the release of the Reebok by Pyer Moss collection this fall, the label released a series of videos and images under the campaign, “American Also,” which paid tribute to underrepresented groups of African-Americans in the country. His subjects, including political commentator Angela Rye and educator Valencia D. Clay, among others, shared snippets of their experience and stories, all while dressed in Reebok-branded palazzo pants, tracksuits and the collaborative Daytona Experiment sneakers.
Yeezy Season 6
In the beginning of the year, Kanye West did what he has come to be known for doing best: stirring the pot on social media. To show off his Yeezy Season 6 collection, he skipped a traditional runway show and substituted models for Kim Kardashian. A gang of Kardashian family and friends dressed up exactly like the 38-year-old (including her then platinum-colored tresses) and flooded Instagram with images of “Kim clones” casually doing things while wearing Yeezy. Kylie Jenner, Paris Hilton and Jordyn Woods were among the celebrities in on the promo.
Payless “Palessi” Pop-Up
Payless created a fake luxury store, Palessi, and pulled a shoe stunt on some unsuspecting fashion influencers and customers. The company took over a former Armani store in Los Angeles and invited guests to a launch party where they previewed “designer” shoes priced as high as $600. Some individuals made purchases, and the brand reportedly raked in over $3,000 in sales before spilling the beans about the hoax. The surprised reactions of the customers were recorded and are being used in TV ads on Bravo and Lifetime.
Balenciaga’s Staged Paparazzi
Similar in approach to the Yeezy Season 6 marketing concept, Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia staged entertaining photos perfect for the Instagram age. The creative director selected various models, including Alek Wek and Stella Tennant, and had them photographed while leaving Balenciaga stores in Paris (along Avenue Montaigne and Rue Saint-Honoré, to be exact). Not only were the subjects convincing as annoyed celebrities in a rush to avoid the cameras, but Gvasalia even selected actual paparazzi to shoot the campaign.
Click through to view the most beautiful shoes of 2018.
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