India | International
Still from the “Don’t Say Velcro” Commercial
The more recent campaign in 2018 was even funnier. It took all the feedback on the first campaign and made a song out of it. Many people hated the first campaign and spoke out about it. And the company used that to make a funny song thanking them for the honest response, and atleast now they were aware that the category is called ‘hook-and-loop’.
Despite this, the brand has a long way to go. After doing a fair bit of research, we could not find any big footwear brand mention that they use the original VELCRO as an ingredient in their brand. Something they would want to achieve.
Bally Shoes with Hook-and-loop fasteners Adidas x Raf Simons with Hook-and-loop fasteners
They are now on the right track when it comes to getting their brand name out there. Building awareness. And these funny commercials have the chance of making this brand a cool satirical brand that will get more and more shoe makers to use the VELCRO name as an ingredient in their shoe. Takeaway: This is a wannabe ingredient brand. Unfortunately, it still has a long way to go. But the strategy is now clear. They are trying to build a brand name by directly talking to the Enduser. All with the hope that shoe manufacturers, car furnishing makers, medical equipment manufacturers and all the others use the original VELCRO and credit them for it as a selling feature.
The Bottom Line
While shoe brands do look at big trends in terms of continuous product innovation in their launches, the move towards comfort and athleisure apparel and shoes, as well as Retro relaunches, there are multiple not-so-obvious, but equally impactful moves that shoe brands can make in India.
The shoe sole can tell many stories for your brand. The support it can give your feet, the spring it can provide when you run, the protection on rugged terrains, the traction on slippery surfaces, flexibility for natural movement, the minimalist support for those wanting to feel they are running barefoot. This is how we can develop this category. By having a continuous stream of new and interesting brand stories delivered through communication and activations. And the sole is a rich source for them.
The zip can be an important brand story not just for boots, but even for athleisure shoes. It is not that commonly used and perhaps that is why it is newsworthy. It can go beyond functionality and be a core design element. And in this case the shoe brand would not want to skimp and go for a cheap zip. The cost of the saving is not worth the risk.
VELCRO has a long way to go in terms of being mentioned as an ingredient brand. The product however is actually quite commonly used in shoes, but it is not clear whether it is the original or an imitation. Hook-and-loop fasteners have gone beyond the school shoe for young children and is used by many brands for functionality and design reasons. Its popularity is increasing as we see articles on the ‘Best velcro shoes of the year.’ And there are some really cool looking shoes in that list. So there is potential here for the Indian footwear brand to innovate, design aesthetically and not skimp on VELCRO.
It is time for us to step out of the usual everyday marketing activities. It is time for innovation, time for partnerships, time for a steady stream of interesting brand stories. These three cases are examples of unusual ways to do that. The next big sale will still need to be communicated. But the ideas and innovation funnel needs to be populated. And there are plenty of opportunities out there. The author of this article works at Lowe Lintas (part of the Mullen Lowe Lintas Group). He is a seasoned professional with over 2 decades of experience and over 15 years with the agency working on some of the agency’s biggest clients and brands. Lowe Lintas is a leading advertising agency in India. It manages the most brands from India’s Top 10 Most Trusted Brands. Find him at firstname.lastname@example.org