Converse One Star Hotel
It’s widely acknowledged that generation Z are hard to reach, let alone engage. However, there is an even harder group to reach – the Gen Z streetwear subculture. It’s a tightknit, competitive culture, with a complete lack of deference to a majority of brands. While Converse has a strong place in culture, it’s flagship shoe (Chuck Taylor All Stars) is ubiquitous, and nothing turns this audience off like ubiquity. Converse challenged us to re-establish the One Star shoe in streetwear culture across three key cities: New York, London, and LA. We needed to find the most credible partnerships that would allow our “middle-finger-message” to be seen and heard.
Our idea was simple: get Gen Z to question the status quo by rebelling against 5-Star events. We had to demonstrate Converse’s streetwear authenticity, and to do this we created the One Star as the anti-hero. The target was fashion week in London and New York, closed-door, exclusive events. To challenge them, we needed something that was unmistakably different, featuring up-and-coming talent who didn’t care about fashion week.
We turned the concept of exclusivity on its head. We created the One Star Hotel in Shoreditch, where we transformed an iconic building into our base for LFW. Success would require mass audiences to feel the ripple of this event across both cities, so we aligned with trusted street culture voices in mainstream environments to allow the anti-hero message to shout louder. We shared unfiltered, access-all-areas content through Paid and Shared channels, giving every Gen Zer entrée.
The One-Star Hotel was at the heart of our campaign, generating cultural connections and mass reach. We deployed a powerful mix of authentic media in and around East London and Brooklyn to get Gen Z streetwear fans to amplify the One Star Hotel. The likes of Dojo and Urban Junkies extended to the most relevant audiences, and we used TimeOut to run a spoof review, playing on the concept of one-star rating.
Kyra’s PAQ boys took over Converse’s Instagram, and Complex stepped in as our partner-in-crime, hyping the campaign with daily updates on the One-Star Hotel for social and dotcom. Our Spotify One-Star Hotel Sessions featured the live performances that were streamed across London, New York and LA, making this an unmissable brand experience for streetwear fans globally.
We proved that when the One-Star spirit surges, One-Star sales surge too. When the One-Star Hotel opened for business, the streetwear community flocked to it. Lines around the block validated the credentials of the One-Star world. Searches for “Converse One Star” increased by 300% during the campaign. All Special Edition Shoes sold out. One Star Shares of Sales on Converse.com peaked at 5x norm. Most importantly, we changed the conversation to one grounded in streetwear culture. In the process, we sold a bunch of shoes, and left a One Star stamp on streetwear.