Youth and fashion have been combined in the latest campaign from Stirling Sports by Motion Sickness.
The two-minute hero spot called ‘Our Heritage’ features young New Zealanders playing sports, hanging out with friends and exploring their home towns whilst talking about Aotearoa, their lives, passions and dreams.
StopPress talked to Motion Sickness founder and creative director, Sam Stuchbury, and Emma Spratt, Stirling Sports’ marketing manager, about the making of, and ideas behind, the campaign.
Stuchbury says prior to shooting, the team did strategy work in terms of outlining how they could push the branding more in the direction of fashion and the fashion of sport.
“When you look at the summer collection of clothing for the campaign it was almost 90s inspired and had a heritage feel – we hooked onto this word of heritage. Developing that further, we thought about what heritage means to Stirling Sports but also to the people of New Zealand and more specifically the young kids of New Zealand…it was finding a way to give an honest representation of younger people within New Zealand and we let them have a voice for themselves.”
The integrated campaign includes in-store window banners and point of sale, digital presence across social media channels, Google display ads, YouTube, a small campaign with TVNZ OnDemand, and Phantom billboards around Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.
Motion Sickness also created a zine to go in-store, a fresh take on a fashion Lookbook.
“It tells the stories of the different people that we featured in the video around the idea of heritage and ties in nicely with the 90s theme," says Stuchbury.
Spratt says Stirling Sports has moved in a different direction in the past five to eight years from being a real sports performance store to more fashion of sport orientated.
“It’s been quite challenging to drive that message home being part of a franchise group with 58 stores nationwide and having such varied levels of store execution. What we wanted to do with this Christmas campaign was really focus and cement our messaging. Our messaging being that we are the fashion of sport.”
For talent for the campaign, Stirling Sports put out a call on its social media channels to insure an authentic feel. The talent had to go through an application process including uploading photos and giving social media handles. There were about 40 or so applications, with 20 young people chosen between the ages of 13 to 24.
There was also a lot of traction for the brand with over 1000 people landing on the application page.
“It was a really authentic way to get access to Kiwis in their natural elements,” says Spratt.
This authenticity point is echoed by Stuchbury.
"I think the 'youth' and also summer can sometimes be represented in a corny way in advertising, so we wanted to make sure we gave a cool and genuinely authentic voice to this campaign."
Shot in Whakatane, Gisborne, Dunedin, Middlemarch and Auckland, it was important the campaign didn’t just feature Auckland locations and that it was a fair representation of New Zealanders and different fashion styles.
“What was refreshing was bringing to life stories through the photographic content – we used quotes from the talent across the campaign, and on in-store posters and social quotes. It was really interesting hearing what they had to say as they were really progressive and inspiring,” says Stuchbury.
With it being the first time Stirling Sports and Motion Sickness have worked together, Spratt says Stirling Sport was “really happy” with the final execution.
“We’re really excited to launch the rest of the content over the next couple of months because that’s when it will really all come together, and hopefully for us as brand built a lot of momentum in terms of who we’re trying to talk to, and what we’re trying to deliver."
For Motion Sickness, it was exciting to do a campaign that was fully integrated, says Stuchbury.
“It’s a testament to Emma and the Stirling Sports team to give us the creative freedom to run with it...as well as being proud of the campaign, it was great to be able to show youth represented in a positive and authentic way."
"I'm really proud of the whole team on this one, was a solid effort by everyone involved on a pretty tight turnaround to be honest. We really played to everyone’s strengths and really pleased with how it came out."