Converse Gets Dirty with a New Pop-Up Store in Paris

Starting at the end of March, the famous brand settled in Paris with a unique pop-up space dedicated to Rock-n-Roll culture. To drive shoppers to its new temporary retail space, Converse deployed a compelling activation plan including a website, a Facebook fan page, and an outdoor campaign.

Following a similar approach to the recent Diesel® campaign “Be Stupid,” which accused smart people of being boring and risk-averse, the outdoor Converse campaign used an impactful slogan in bold letters that clearly referred to the brand’s most symbolic, but maybe surprising, enemy: shoes. The main statement “Shoes are boring, wear sneakers” enables Converse to be associated with the very clothing item and thus points out the brand’s unique know-how as a shoemaker. To bring its message to reality, Converse opened “Converse 19YT” (initials stand for the street where it is located), which aimed to embody the genuine relationship it has built with customers over 104 years.

In a roomy and rusty vintage warehouse, where the store set up shops, visitors could attend concerts, exclusive events, or discover limited-edition items. POS material and the store environment were all inspired by music, using amplifiers and crates or raw material to live between the vintage leather sofas and wooden shelves. Product layout subtly enabled leveraged scarcity, showcasing fewer articles to instead put emphasis on lifestyle and thus deliver a premium experience. Several lounge corners enable visitors to relax, and a mini museum dedicated to the creator of the iconic shoes displayed collector vinyl discs.

But what was much more striking was the brand’s ability to gather a community around its values through these entertaining and sometimes digitally-enabled DIY features.

  • A giant (and dirty) black wall invited visitors to write their names and messages, acting as a real guest book.
  • The fitting room upstairs was equipped with a photo booth, enabling shoppers to show “their wise and wild side,” and then to share their pictures on social media or hang it on a dedicated wall.
  • Shoppers could also bring their old sneakers to the tune and repair stand to create their tailor-made Chuck Taylors.

Through this initiative, Converse brilliantly managed to claim ownership of the Rock-n-Roll territory and increase emotional brand attachment by turning the store into a real story. If the Converse brand were a person, this is the house they’d live in.

Contributed by Integer Paris