How Nike created a buzz in the suburbs of Paris

Nike took to the suburbs of Paris for the unveiling of its latest trainer, using influential trendsetters and fans to get people talking about the brand.

Nike and its agency Yard, part of Sid Lee Collective, ventured into the greater Paris region, known as "Grand Paris", for the unveiling of its latest sneaker, the Air Max 270. Rather than setting up in the chicest parts of Paris, they headed out to the suburbs in search of the brand's true fans.

Working with French influencers, the activation, which was staged last month, featured pop-up shops in building entrances in neighbourhoods just outside Paris, giving residents an exclusive sneak peek at the Air Max before it hits stores.

With the help of two icons who grew up in Grand Paris, actor Lucas, who is also an affiliate of the rap group PNL and rapper/entrepreneur Mac Tyer, the brand and its agency ventured beyond city lines to target today’s trendsetters.

The Paris event used Grand Paris as its theme and featured a special contest with the rare opportunity of becoming a brand designer. Participants could design their own version of the Air Max shoe, using their city as inspiration.

The winning design, revealed earlier this week, is a new Air VaporMax Plus, which will be available in stores in April 2019. There were 4,000 visitors across two days, 2,300 entries – from which 150 semi-finalists were chosen and three finalists. 

Nike’s Air Max Day campaign continued with Nike On Air, a series of design workshops held in six major cities around the world, reuniting sneakerheads, brand afficionados and the greater public. 

In addition to the pop-up stores, Yard launched a parallel national print and digital campaign for Nike featuring French trailblazers from Grand Paris.

Since its launch, Nike says the campaign has helped generate sales of 30,000 pairs of the trainers.