Client: Dunlop Green Flash
PR Team: Red Rooster PR
Campaign: Relaunching the retro ‘1555’ shoe and launching the spring/
summer 1996 range
Timescale: January - June 1996
Budget: pounds 13,000
When Fred Perry served for victory at the Wimbledon tennis championship
in the 1930s, he was wearing a pair of Dunlop Green Flash shoes. So were
bands such as Sweet when they appeared on Top of the Pops in the 1970s.
Then, just when you had finally thrown your old pair out, the Summer of
1995 saw the Green Flash hitting the dance floors of Britain’s trendiest
Taking advantage of this nostalgic trend, Dunlop worked with fashion
retailer Red or Dead to build the classic plimsoll’s profile and design
a range of new leisure footwear for the mid-1990s under the Green Flash
To relaunch the ‘retro’ 1555 trainer and launch the spring/summer 96
range on to the youth market.
Dunlop’s research had shown that its target audience was unimpressed by
sports star endorsement and Red Rooster focused on the booming British
dance music scene.
It targeted DJs - the rock stars of the 1990s - and invited 70 top
‘jocks’ into its offices. DJs such as Danny Rampling and Smokin’ Jo were
asked to complete a questionnaire and choose a pair of shoes from the
‘We tried to keep it underground,’ says Red Rooster’s Giles Hurst, ‘so
there were no photocalls. Just by wearing the shoes, DJs give them
street cred and stylish endorsement.’
Red Rooster targeted other areas of the dance scene. Staff in ‘hip’
independent dance music shops in London, Nottingham, Manchester,
Newcastle and Glasgow were sent shoes. The agency also focused on
leading club promoters, young TV celebrities such as EastEnders’ Patsy
Palmer (Bianca) and ‘Britpop’ bands such as Echobelly and Oasis.
The decision by the latter’s Gallagher brothers to purchase some Green
Flash in May was claimed and exploited by the agency with a special
give-away in the Daily Star.
The link between youth icons and the revitalised Green Flash was sold to
Red Rooster’s relaunch story appeared in 16 dance and teen/style
magazines, three national newspapers and a selection of regional and
listings publications. The agency claims a total readership of over 33
Highlights were almost a full page in Wax magazine, an eighth of a page
in the Daily Telegraph and the front page of Newcastle’s Express style
The Daily Star give-away received 82,000 responses and Red or Dead sold
out shortly afterwards from the boost in demand.
The editorial success persuaded Dunlop to re-allocate some of its
advertising budget to Red Rooster and the coverage, particularly in
‘men’s fashion bible’ FHM magazine, was a major factor the decision by
retailers Woodhouse and Harvey Nichols to stock the brands.
Red Rooster’s approach doesn’t appear outstandingly new but its
expertise in youth culture effectively linked youth icons with the
product and achieved considerable coverage for the low budget.
Dunlop Footwear’s international marketing manager Mike Price says:
‘Apart from the major style magazines, we also broke into the cutting
edge club magazines with the message that Green Flash are cool.’