Responses by Bryan Judkins, partner/group creative director, Young & Laramore
Background: Merrell is known for its hiking and trail running shoes, but as the casual footwear market grows, the footwear brand was looking to expand sales of its lifestyle shoes. The timing was perfect to give the beloved Jungle Moc line a reboot. Our goal: Engage a youthful, more style-aware audience of 28-to-40-year-olds and drive sales of one million pairs globally in 2020-2021.
Reasoning: We’re remaking the Jungle Moc’s ugly duckling image by giving younger consumers a permission slip to wear comfortable shoes. The empowering, energetic Make Your Way campaign shows just how stylish the Jungle Moc can be. Because when you feel good, you look good—even if you don’t look like everyone else.
Challenges: Sturdy enough for the trail yet stylish enough for everyday life, the Jungle Moc has been a cult classic since ’98. But for Merrell to grow its lifestyle sales and expand the Jungle Moc audience, the brand needed to win over younger, more fashion-conscious consumers. And to do that, it need to address the elephant in the room: the stigma that comes with wearing comfortable shoes.
Favorite details: The Jungle Moc can look cool. It just needed the right styling. We’re proud of the way we brought it to life with fashion-forward outfits, models and photography. The stylish, fresh aesthetic shows you can wear whatever you want, however you want and look good doing it. Because what fits you matters more than what fits in.
Visual influences: It was important to us and the client to honor Merrell’s outdoor heritage while embracing a younger audience, so we shot urban greenspaces as a way of blending nature and the city. We also drew influence from streetwear photography and fashion—incorporating bold colors and lively prints to celebrate standing out from the crowd. It all comes together to celebrate confident individuality.
Time constraints: Since this is a global campaign, we needed to make sure the settings would resonate with audiences in cities around the world. But we only had one shoot day. That meant scouting was key. We searched high and low for diverse scenery within a small radius in LA. We love the way it turned out. The settings feel varied and international, despite their close proximity.