The folks at Mother didn't take the easy route when it came to their inaugural campaign for New Balance launching today, for New Balance's 574 Clips line.
In order to demonstrate the uniqueness of each one of the 480 pairs in the limited edition series, which are constructed entirely out of leftover clips of material from the NB 993 and 996 designs, Mother created their own series of "clips"—exclusive vignettes shot in cities across the U.S. documenting the experience of every pair before they reached consumers. The shorts are featured on the 574 Clips website. Buyers are invited to search for their shoes' special short and once they find it, they can "claim" their NBs by entering a special code. Their names will then be featured at the end of the film.
To further emphasize the collectors aspect, the agency also created photo "trading cards" and shot Polaroids of each pair to be enclosed in every box. Written on the back of each photograph is the corresponding pair's limited edition number, size, color and retail location.
Mother art directors Mark Aver and Jed Grossman, "Mother" Imogen Bailey and creative technologist Rey Peralta discuss the logisticis of bringing 574 Clips to life.
What was your thinking behind creative 574 Clips?
Mark Aver : We realized that this is an extremely limited release of a classic shoe, 480 pairs, and for true sneaker connoisseurs. In other words, the shoe will likely sell out in a matter of hours. So, the challenge became: How can we create something that not only entertains, but also makes the entire effort as special as the shoe and in turn, makes the communication live a bit longer than the sale.
Jed Grossman: We figured that since the shoe itself is hand-made in Lawrence, Massachusetts out of surplus materials, then the communication should be hand-made in America as well. And since it is such a limited edition, why not give each shoe its own story? Let's document each shoe before it reaches the store and goes on someone's feet. Basically, we felt we could do that, and that felt really cool.
How hard was this to sell to the client?
Imogen Bailey: They loved the idea from the beginning and recognized the campaign's relevance and originality to the people we are trying to reach.
Is the original idea what we see in the campaign today? Or did it change throughout the creation process?
JG: Actually, the original idea was maintained from start to finish.
Tell me about the production of this particular effort. Who shot, what did you shoot with? How did you go about scheduling and shooting everything?
JG: The production for this project has been a true team effort. It was also very simple. Each day we would go out as teams of two with a Flip Mino HD, a Flip Ultra HD and a Polaroid One600 camera. We had scripts that we would follow. We would know we'd have to cover 15 clips off the list but might find five or 10 more things that we found interesting along the way.
The coolest part of this project has been collaboration between people. Everyone working on this project at Mother and [production company] Greencard has worn many hats. It has been such a great case of creative minded people from all different backgrounds giving it everything they've got to achieve a common goal.
Who did you cast for the films?
MA: In New York, Boston and Los Angeles, we relied on fellow Mother employees, folks off the street, friends, and friends of friends for a majority of the casting. Our core team also made cameos in a few of the clips. In Lawrence, Massachusetts, where the shoes were made, we used quite a few of the factory workers in the clips. We even went home with one and shot clips of him and his family getting ready for dinner.
What was the most challenging part of putting this together?
JG: The planning, logistics and process involved in shooting 480 films and 480 Polaroids. Despite their short length (five-20 seconds each,) all of the clips required a thorough cataloging process and utmost attention to detail.
MA: At times, we had four people shooting with four separate camera kits, so a uniform process was absolutely essential. We also couldn't risk any of the clips getting lost or separated from its corresponding Polaroid--we only had enough film and single opportunity to shoot a Polaroid for each pair of shoes.
With the Polaroids, wasn't it hard to get the film? Isn't it in short supply now?
IB: Sadly, Polaroid no longer makes film, so it was quite a mission to find. However, we were determined to find it and we struck gold just in time.
Were there any big challenges in terms of getting the website itself set up? Who did you work with on the technical end?
Rey Peralta: We teamed up with Almighty out of Boston to build the actual site. They became an extension of our internal team. Before we started building the site, we had some kickoff calls to define functionality, some big ticket items, and the general 'feel' we were going for with the site. The initial setup calls went a long way in resolving issues before they ballooned into full-scale issues and allowed us to quickly scope and start building while we continued to shoot all the videos for the site. Throughout the entire build process we were in constant communication.
Our greatest challenge during the build of the website, and on the entire project in general has been organization. We had to meticulously catalog every Polaroid, scan, video, and claim code to make certain they all matched-up correctly. The devil's in the details and these were details we did not want to mess up.
Have any shoes been claimed yet?
IB: No, they can only be claimed once bought. The shoes don't go on sale until later this week.