Last year was all set to be a time of celebration and nostalgia for Dr. Martens. The much-loved footwear brand had reached 60 and was poised to kick-off campaigns and events when lockdown hit.
Undeterred, chief product and marketing officer Darren Campbell and his team switched their attention to a digital programme, telling the brand story online with a focus on ecommerce and conversion.
The ‘Remastered’ campaign featured collaborations with 12 partners, putting a contemporary twist on the DM 1460 boot – the classic eight-eye model that’s been a post-war youth culture touchstone and potent symbol of rebellion for decades. Available online, the collaborations sold out within minutes of being announced.
“We put more emphasis on creating assets around product marketing, rather than brand marketing,” says Campbell. “It wasn’t about driving awareness, it was about converting and through social we just made sure that we could drive a two-way community conversation through lockdown. Our engagement rates were really, really high through a digital lens.”
There’s a hugely loyal Dr. Martens market out there, one that can be fiercely protective, even a little reluctant at the thought of change. As the custodian of a heritage brand, does Campbell ever feel a little trapped by history at the expense of progress?