Adweek’s Project Isaac Awards: Firstborn Makes the Sneaker Drop Cool Again

What was the insight that led to this invention?

Sneaker drops used to be a cool experience. Now they’re not. Long lines form, fights break out, and resellers buy up all the products and sell them online. Prices spike and real sneaker fans miss out. So we decided to reinvent the sneaker drop so that only real fans engaged with the NMD brand, and that are a true part of the culture it represents, would be able to get their hands on the new NMD camo colorway.

Dave Snyder, Chief Creative Officer


How did it perform compared to expectations?

The drop was successful beyond our expectations. There’s an inherent risk with doing stuff that hasn’t been done before – that’s part of the fun in doing it in the first place.. But “Hidden In Plain Sight” far exceeded the objectives originally set. Our brief was to create a “WTF” moment, get real fans to stop in their tracks, and ultimately drive to purchase. Fans spent on average 2m 45s engaging with the AR-enabled wild-postings. 2m 45s! When was the last time you spent that amount of time doing anything, let alone looking at posters? Then, 87% of fans converted by click-through to commerce directly from the AR experience. Ultimately, we saw a 168% sales lift during the campaign. 

Dave Snyder, Chief Creative Officer


What was the most interesting/surprising element of it (whether part of the creative or development process, consumer reaction etc)?

A lot of R&D went into this campaign. For marker-based AR to work, the trigger has to be really carefully considered – color, contrast, matte vs gloss finish, the size and positioning, the amount of natural light–all of which was carefully considered as we crafted the OOH creative that triggered the AR experience, and determined the media placement.  There were definitely a few “surprising” moments in the office while testing the experience. But again, that’s all part of the fun, and the end result was a seamless, awesome experience for NMD fans.

Drew Dahlman, Technical Director


Can you please update/provide any statistics related to the success of this initiative?

  • 168% sales lift during campaign
  • 87% conversion from AR experience to commerce
  • 2m 45s average engagement time with the AR product drop zones
  • 32M OOH impressions