'Facebook rejected the filter three times' - Behind the Campaign with 'Never miss a drop' by The Sole Supplier

Dan Timcke, chief marketing officer at The Sole Supplier, gives the lowdown on the sneaker news and comparison site's recent campaign based on a fun Instagram filter.

What was the campaign, in a nutshell?

To banish boredom and compensate for the physical aspect of sneaker communities being lost due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Sole Supplier created an Instagram filter using AR technology.

Using selfie mode, players can navigate The Sole Supplier’s chief executive, George Sullivan, to catch falling sneakers in a shoebox and compete for the top score – a fun play on the company’s new marketing mantra, 'Never miss a drop'.

How did the idea come into being?

We wanted to introduce our new marketing mantra to our community of three million in a fun way. But it was important to us that we did it in a way that was also sensitive to the current climate.

Creating an Instagram filter is something we’ve wanted to do for a while, and it seemed like the perfect time to give it a go.

What ideas were rejected?

To be honest, it was all or nothing. We had our heart set on this idea from the outset as it captured our brand ethos so well while offering our community a distraction from the downbeat news flow with a fun online experience to share with friends and family.

It turned out to be a difficult idea to pursue due to the AR element, but we stuck with it and eventually found someone with the skillset to create it.

Briefly describe the campaign planning and process

We kicked off with a planning meeting with our in-house creatives, sharing IG filters we liked and had used. The idea was developed inside an hour.

We reached out to an agency that we knew had IG filter capabilities but, unfortunately, the development wasn’t within their remit. Not dissuaded, I contacted a developer from Russia that I found on Instagram. He loved the idea and we began working together.

We also wanted to create another visual asset to be purposed as an APP download advert to publicise the filter launch and overall ‘Never miss a drop’ campaign. A bank of freelance VFX artists and videographers helped to create this.

Once the filter was developed and accepted by Facebook, we went for it and made sure our cross-promotion strategy was tight across social platforms, our website and email.

What were the biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

While we were extremely happy with the finished product, it turns out Facebook wasn’t and rejected the filter three times due to The Sole Supplier logo being used and text that wasn’t considered vital to the filter’s function.

Just as we submitted the final version, Facebook stopped reviewing new filter submissions due to COVID-19. Luckily, it got approved two weeks later and we were finally able to launch.

How did you measure the results?

Using Facebook’s Spark AR suite, we were able to monitor impressions and use of the filter. There was also a lot of buzz across The Sole Supplier’s social channels, with a high level of sharing, comments and likes.

In its first week alone, the campaign had 710,000 impressions and 7,276 captures, proving to be a big hit with the sneaker community.

The supporting APP download campaign also achieved great results as low as 34p per download.

What's the biggest lesson you took away from the campaign?

Using the Spark AR filter for a novel game was fun and got great results. Our eyes are now open to the power of new types of AR experiences on Instagram for engaging our community. This will be our next endeavour in the world of AR… Watch this space.

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