Hoka, the trendy running shoe brand, may be approaching $1 billion in sales, but it’s never had a global ad campaign.
That will change on June 15 when the brand launches Fly Human Fly.
The campaign is tied to the launch of the Mach 5 road running shoe, which releases on the same day and was created to encourage consumers to “take flight to new heights”, the company said.
Fly Human Fly includes a 60-second film titled Pursuit which features a group of athletes running through a city, jumping over cars and often running through the air, over the sidewalk. The tagline reads: Move Until the World Can’t Keep Up, and ends with the campaign name: Fly Human Fly with the brand’s bird logo in the center.
Hoka, a division of Deckers Brands, has been on fire lately, with sales in the fiscal year ending March 31 jumping 56.1% to $891.6 million, the campaign aims to boost further brand recognition.
“Hoka has been championed by a strong community of endurance athletes from the very beginning,” said Norma Delany, vice president of global brand marketing. “When a consumer tries a Hoka product, they fall in love with our product innovation that delivers a world-class, fast-paced, body-friendly experience. As a result, the brand has grown primarily through word of mouth until now. Those who know us are fans for life. The Fly Human Fly global campaign is an invitation for humans everywhere to experience Hoka and soar into a world of new possibilities.
Gretchen Weimer, global vice president of product for Hoka, said the campaign represents “an opportunity to tell a wider audience what the brand is about. Well done by word of mouth, but now we’re introducing the brand to the world and telling them why we exist.
The campaign will be rolled out in more than 32 countries and will include digital and national video spots as well as outdoor elements. As part of the campaign, the company’s website will be updated and experiential events will take place at Hoka retail stores in New York, Malibu and West Hollywood, California, and Chicago, as well as its units in China, Japan, Thailand and South Korea. In key cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Paris, Beijing, Munich, Shanghai and Tokyo, Fly Human Fly will be showcased at “flagship events” such as the UTMB World Championship in Chamonix, France, a Weimer said.
Using Mach 5 as the cornerstone of the campaign is no accident. The latest iteration of its Mach shoe is lightweight and “snappy,” according to Weimer. The Profly midsole has been improved with lighter, more responsive foam underfoot and there’s an updated jacquard mesh upper and flat gusseted tongue.
“We’re known for the Clifton and the Bondi, but this will open more eyes to the brand,” she said.
The Mach 5, which weighs 8 oz. for men and 6.7 oz. for women, will cost $140.
As part of the campaign, Hoka is partnering with Achilles International, a non-profit organization that works to transform the lives of people with disabilities through sports programs and social connections. Hoka will provide cash and product donations to the group and help spread the stories of its athletes.
Hoka One One – pronounced O-nay O-nay, a Maori expression meaning “to fly above the earth” – was founded in 2009 by Nicolas “Nico” Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, two disgruntled French ultra-runners of the options available at the time in the running shoe market and looking for an alternative that would help them run comfortably downhill after climbing the mountains. It was acquired by Deckers Brands in 2013.
FOR MORE ABOUT SHOES ON WWD.COM, SEE:
Birkenstock collaborates with LA Brand Staud on sandals, ready-to-wear and bags, too
Axel Arigato bets on the expansion of clothing for growth
The Shoe Surgeon takes custom athletic footwear to a new level