New Balance Promotes Active Play Inside Malls
What better place to let kids and their moms get in the spirit of active play than a beautiful park with green grass and clear blue skies?
Well, if your goal is to sell shoes, perhaps the only better place would be a retail mecca. New Balance put the two together, bringing a 20-foot-by-20-foot vignette to 15 malls that, through sight, sound and smell, replicated the great outdoors, and put consumers within shopping distance of New Balance retailers.
The décor was spot-on, with a white picket fence and a blue tension-fabric sky to frame the perimeter of the footprint, plus stadium-grade artificial turf with cobblestones and park benches. But New Balance also recognized that no park experience would be complete without the familiar aromatic and aural cues, so the brand piped in the scent of fresh-cut grass and the sounds of birds chirping to complete the multisensory attack.
Once inside the We Fit park, visitors were offered shoe fittings on New Balance’s proprietary FitTrack sizing machines, which digitally scan the foot and then print out the child’s shoe size along with a push to the nearby JCPenney store. Guests also could pose for free family photographs.
In a campaign aimed primarily at driving awareness, New Balance actually generated retail momentum, grabbing a 1.4 point increase in market share (and leapfrogging two competitors). Sales of New Balance children’s footwear at JCPenney more than doubled versus the same period a year earlier.