Opportunity Shoes takes its Ballasox brand to the streets

When Opportunity Shoes began selling Ballasox, its foldable ballet flat, the shoes sold so well that the company patented them and made Ballasox a standalone brand.

Client: Opportunity Shoes (North Bergen, NJ)
Agency: The Bromley Group (New York)
Campaign: Be Sweet To Your Feet
Duration: August 22 – September 16, 2011
Budget: $8,000

Opportunity Shoes began selling Ballasox, its foldable ballet flat, in fall 2010. US president Max Harrell says the shoes sold so well that the company patented them and made Ballasox a standalone brand.

“We wanted to find a grassroots way to promote the brand and get the name Ballasox out there,” Harrell explains.

AOR The Bromley Group helped devise and execute the “Be Sweet To Your Feet” campaign, which increased visibility during Fashion Week September 8 to 15 in New York and drove social media engagement.

Street teams directly engaged fashion influencers on September 13 at multiple Fashion Week hot spots. Media and blogger relations and social media outreach also drove awareness.

“We focused a lot online leading up to the street teams to generate excitement so people were looking for us when we got out there,” says agency account manager Sarah Raines.

Top-tier fashion editors got a “Fashion Week Emergency Kit” in late August. The kits included Ballasox, aspirin, and a note to look for the street teams on September 13.

Fashion bloggers and online editors were also informed about the street teams and given coupon codes for a free pair of Ballasox.

Emails asked editors and bloggers to have readers follow the campaign on Twitter, where the team posted clues as to where to find the street teams. Tweets were also posted on Facebook.

Forty "Ballasox Girls" wearing tiaras and bright pink t-shirts printed with branding, @CorsoComoShoes and #BeSweettoYourFeet visited six Fashion Week locations, including Lincoln Center and FIT. They passed out more than 1,000 pieces of candy with wrappers featuring the Ballasox logo and Twitter information. Three hundred pieces also included coupons for a free pair of Ballasox on CorsoComoshoes.com.

Harrell says Ballasox sales on CorsoComoshoes.com increased 50% on Sept 13 compared to the prior week and continued at that level for another five to seven days.

“For every person who used the coupon code, another 15 looked and five bought,” Harrell adds. “Ballasox sales also went up 25% to 50% at Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Zappos, and Piperlime the week of September 13.”

The campaign garnered more than 100 new Twitter followers and more than 100 new Facebook likes. About 250 Tweets included the hashtag.

About 25 stories appeared in outlets such as Examiner.com and blogs LA Fashion Snob and The Style Goddess.

A college-focused campaign is in the works and the team also plans to continue to promote Ballasox during the next Fashion Week.

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