Hoka, the buzzy running shoe brand, may be approaching $1 billion in sales, but it has never had a global advertising campaign.
That will change on June 15 when the brand launches Fly Human Fly.
The campaign is tied to the launch of the Mach 5 road running shoe, which comes out on the same day and was created to encourage consumers to “take flight to new heights,” the company said.
Fly Human Fly includes a 60-second film called Pursuit that features a group of athletes running through a city, jumping over cars and often running in mid-air, above the pavement. The tag line reads: Move Until the World Can’t Keep Up, and ends with the campaign name: Fly Human Fly with the brand’s bird logo in the center.
Hoka, a division of Deckers Brands, has been on fire of late, with sales in the fiscal year ended March 31 jumping 56.1 percent to $891.6 million, the campaign is intended to further increase recognition of the brand.
“Hoka has been championed by a strong community of endurance athletes from the very beginning,” said Norma Delany, vice president of global brand marketing. “When a consumer tries a Hoka product, they fall in love with our product innovation that delivers an experience that is both easy on the body and world class fast. Thus, the brand has been growing primarily by word of mouth up until this point. Those that know us are fans for life. The Fly Human Fly global campaign is an invitation for humans everywhere to experience Hoka and fly into a world of new possibility.”
Gretchen Weimer, global vice president of product for Hoka, said the campaign represents the “opportunity to tell a broader audience what the brand is about. It’s done well through word of mouth, but now we’re introducing the brand to the world and telling them why we exist.”
The campaign will be rolled out in more than 32 countries and will include digital and national video spots as well as out-of-home elements. As part of the campaign, the company’s website will be updated and experiential events will be held at Hoka retail stores in New York City, Malibu and West Hollywood, Calif., and Chicago, as well as its units in China, Japan, Thailand and South Korea. In key cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Paris, Beijing, Munich, Shanghai and Tokyo, Fly Human Fly will be featured at “pinnacle events” such as the UTMB World Championship in Chamonix, France, Weimer said.
Using the Mach 5 as the cornerstone of the campaign is no accident. The latest iteration of its Mach shoe, is lightweight and “snappy,” according to Weimer. The Profly midsole has been enhanced with a lighter, more responsive foam underfoot and there’s an updated jacquard mesh upper and a lay-flat gusseted tongue.
“We’re known for the Clifton and the Bondi, but this will open more eyes to the brand,” she said.
The Mach 5, which weighs 8 oz. for men and 6.7 oz. for women, will retail for $140.
As part of the campaign, Hoka is partnering with Achilles International, a nonprofit organization that works to transform the lives of people with disabilities through athletic programs and social connection. Hoka will provide the group with monetary and product donations and help publicize the story of its athletes.
Hoka One One — pronounced O-nay O-nay, a Maori phrase that means “fly over the earth” — was founded in 2009 by Nicolas “Nico” Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, two French ultra-runners who were unhappy with the options available at that time in the running shoe market and searching for an alternative that would help them run downhill comfortably after racing up mountains. It was acquired by Deckers Brands in 2013.
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