it took about thirty seconds. thirty seconds from receiving this IM from Alex S… to fall utterly in love.
“i could see you in those
the link was to this:
the world was awake, and had been alerted to the existence of The MAG, brought Back From The Future by Nike. as a post on Nike’s site explains:
“The NIKE MAG is no longer the “greatest shoe never made.” The mythical shoe that originally captured the imagination of audiences in Back to the Future II is being released – and they’re here to help create a future without Parkinson’s disease … 1,500 pairs of the 2011 NIKE MAG will be auctioned on eBay with all net proceeds going directly to The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Each day for the duration of the ten-day auction, one hundred and fifty pairs of the 2011 NIKE MAG shoes will be made available …”
as sneaks go it’s a stunning piece of work and – with the exception of power laces – is as fine a replica of Marty’s originals that you’ll find:
it arrived with this beautiful teaser clip:
a clip which isn’t alone … a gamut of content and AV collateral has been released to support the arrival of the 1,500 pairs, and not a corner has been cut – Doc Brown himself is on board:
the distribution model is designed to extract maximum value from the shoes. by selling on Ebay, Nike ensure that – with such a strictly limited supply (there’s one pair for every 4.5 million people on the planet) – it doesn’t just find those individuals with the money to invest in these puppies, but engages those individuals in what is sure to be a fierce bidding war, with each other, to own their slice of the impossible.
those of us who have been waiting since 1989 for “the greatest shoe never made” to arrive finally get to see it. a lucky few will even get to own it. the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research will get a shedload of money to fight Parkinson’s (even if the average selling price is a conservative $5,000, the MAGs will generate over $7.5m in revenue).
Ebay get a burst of activity on their platform, part of which will no doubt fulfill the hugely valuable role of getting inactive registered users to engage with the site. and as for Nike … money can’t buy publicity, the adoration of sneaker fans everywhere, and a global bidding war to get a hold of their product…
as marketing efforts go, its textbook best practice:
- innovate and invest in creating products that have currency and will be in high demand
- strictly limit supply
- fewer bigger better partnerships to deliver and deploy the initiative
- invest in credibility (Christopher Lloyd is in the ad for goodness sake)
- sacrifice profits in favour of positive PR and goodwill
- don’t buy media when you can earn it
- invest in sharable high quality content
- rigorously control timing to maximise interest and dominate news and conversation
- product out, not advertising in
the awesomeness of these shoes is outdone only by the awesomeness of the marketing machine that has announced them to the world. what happens over the next ten days remains to be seen, but for now its all eyes on Ebay – where, only 4 1/2 hours into day one’s auction, bids for every pair of size 9s are sitting at between $3,500 and $4,000.