Superniche: Nike Air Force

The Nike Air Force brand grew out of local, urban basketball-playing communities across North America. They took the Air Force 1 basketball shoe and made it into a sports culture phenomenon. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the AF1, Toronto-based Cossette Media found a way to zone right in on its highly defined target.

The Nike Air Force brand grew out of local, urban basketball-playing communities across North America. They took the Air Force 1 basketball shoe and made it into a sports culture phenomenon. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the AF1, Toronto-based Cossette Media found a way to zone right in on its highly defined target.

Goal

To take the 25th-anniversary celebration back to the streets where it all began, and create a message that resonated with the urban basketball-playing community.

Target consumer

Urban youth, predominantly male.

Insights and strategy

Knowing where the target’s gathering spots were, the team created a network of six barbershops and six community centres in the appropriate neighbourhoods across Toronto and Montreal. It took finely tuned negotiating skills to broker deals not only with the barbershop owners, but also with the city-run community centres.

The plan

The barbershops and community centres were decked out in branded material, including wall murals, mirror decals, shoe mirrors and floor graphics, to ensure the message was carried back out to the community. The team even came up with locally relevant copy lines – such as that for Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood, shown here – that further entrenched Air Force into the communities.

Results

Whether the target was going for a trim at the local barbershop or shooting some hoops at the community centre, the message was implanted into the neighbourhood.

Credits

Cossette Media: Brock Leeson, media supervisor

Taxi: Russell Stedman, group account director; Bruce Ellis, production manager

Speed Promotions: Craig McGlaughlin, manager; Jason Durkee, manager

Nike Canada: Andrew Stewart, brand communications manager

Jump to:
Introduction

Superniche

The book of Dove

Panasonic shaver

Campbell’s Chunky Soup

Toyota Highlander

Over the top

Sprite

Johnnie Walker

CTC

On the fly

Quaker Oats

Audi Q7

Cheap as chips

Audi R8