Converse Taps Nemo as North American Retail Agency, Rolls Out Holiday Collection

Targeting Millenials With Three 'Remastered' Styles

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Converse has partnered with a new agency of record for North American retail, Nemo Design, to coordinate marketing for a new holiday sneaker collection from its heritage Cons brand, among other initiatives.

Available starting Thursday were three "remastered" Cons styles—the Aerojam, Anarchy and Star Player Plus—which are being sold exclusively at 200 select Foot Locker stores, 100 Footaction locations and 50 Champs stores. The shoes are priced $110 for the Aerojam, $80 for the Anarchy and $70 for the Star Player Plus.

As part of the launch, Nemo and Cons kicked off marketing efforts at the flapship Foot Locker stores at 34th and 5th in New York and the Stonetown Galleria Mall in San Francisco. Those feature 10-foot interactive window installations broadcasting real-time "street style" photos taken by a Cons truck of random people wearing Converse in and around the cities. The truck will be sending the images back to the flagships on Thursday and Friday. Additionally at the flagships, consumers were able to spin a "style gallery" wheel to choose which shoes to be modeled by brand ambassadors, said Mark Lewman, creative director of Nemo.

The new Cons campaign will also feature ambient, print, digital, mobile and social media, and a digital mix tape featuring Cons ambassadors Bishop Neru, Ratking and Phony PPL. The Cons holiday collection was also feted Tuesday at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Cons is targeting the millennial demographic. "It's about creating cultural relevance," said Mr. Lewman, noting Cons' heritage dating back to the 1990s. Millennials "buy with their hearts. You want to try to provide them cool experiences. There's a playfulness in the way you match up the eras," Mr. Lewman added.

Indeed, the new Cons footwear is going after "creative active consumers," said Trevor Graves, Nemo CEO. The brand is "elevating some of the basketball inspired stuff and repurposing it for a modern, creative consumer," he said.

Executives from Converse were unavailable for comment.

Portland, Ore.-based Nemo, a brand strategy and design firm, was officially named Converse's agency of record for retail in North America a month ago. Nemo has worked with Andover, Mass.-based Converse for about six months, most recently helping with back-to-school and the launch of the Wiz Khalifa Converse collection in September, according to Mr. Graves. The agency is working on spring 2014 and will also work on Converse's namesake All Star brand and Jack Purcell.

Nemo has long worked with Converse parent company Nike Inc., most recently with its Nike 6.0 action sports product—which Mr. Graves said jumped from being a $8 million brand to a $400 million brand after working with Nemo—and Nike Athletic Training product. Nemo was founded in 1999 by Mr. Graves and a group of former snowboarders, BMX bikers and skaters to focus on marketing for the action sports category. Other clients include Bell Helmets, Teva and Smith Optics.

Converse recently tapped Publicis Groupe's MediaVest and Anomaly is the creative agency for the brand.
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