Onitsuka Tiger Design & Branding TANSU SHOE by Amsterdam Worldwide


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Industry Shoes, Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Design & Branding
Market Netherlands
Agency Amsterdam Worldwide
Creative Director Andrew Watson
Art Director Rickard Engstorm
Copywriter Dan Goransson
Producer Samantha Koch
Photographer Michel Dubois
Released January 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Point of Sale
Product/Service: ONITSUKA TIGER
Date of First Appearance: Feb 1 2010 12:00AM
Entry URL: http://www.onitsukatiger.com
Executive Art Director: Richard Gorodecky (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Creative Director: Andrew Watson (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Copywriter: Dan Goransson (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Art Director: Rickard Engstorm (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Tansu Sneaker Artisans: (Ogura Tansu Ten)
Online developers: (InLoveWith)
Photographer: Michel Dubois (Orchard Represents)
Stop Motion Photography: Bill Tanaka
Replica Model Makers: (Noch Display)
Planning Director: Jonathan Fletcher (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Planner: Ben Jaffe (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Producer: Samantha Koch (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Business Development Director: Nicolette Lazarus (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Account Director: Paula Ferrai (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Account Manager: Romain Lauby (Amsterdam Worldwide)
Communications Manager: Sandra Koopmans (ASICS Europe B.V.)
Media placement: Print - Code Magazine, Dazed&Confused, 200 Magazine - 1 February 2010 - Present
Media placement: Website - Www.onitsukatiger.com - 1 February 2010 - Present
Media placement: Banners - Various UK Websites - 1 February 2010 - Present
Media placement: Point-Of-Sale - Onitsuka Tiger Stores (Globally) - 1 February 2010 - Present

Describe the challenges and key objectives
We needed to stand out against multimillion-dollar CGI and high-tech multimedia advertising. With a limited budget, outsmarting the big-spend opposition was vital. We needed to engage our very selective, ‘hip’ audience while still maintaining broad appeal. We also needed to create a vehicle that could present new collections and products. We discovered the traditional art of Japanese cabinetry - Tansu. Delicately ornamented, handcrafted chests and cabinets that are a true embodiment of the master craftsmanship and aesthetic sensibility of Japan; an ancient craft that Onitsuka Tiger could dust off and re-interpret for a new generation

Describe the brief from the client
The brief called for something that manifested our ‘Made of Japan’ strategy and communicated Onitsuka Tiger’s unique heritage and authentic Japanese credentials, while reinforcing the brand’s urban cool with something completely fresh and contemporary. Tasked with generating a buzz, broadening appeal, increasing product consideration, we sought to engage with fashion-conscious sneaker fans that wish to stand out. They are media-savvy, cynical, and crave ‘authenticity’ and ‘craftsmanship’. The brief demanded that this year’s sneaker sculpture took our historically successful campaign one step further. Where earlier pieces had been beautiful to look at, this needed to encourage interaction and engagement.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
We found Niigata-based Ogura Tansu Ten, a 9th-generation family workshop. Using techniques dating back to the time of the Samurai, it took the team four months to handcraft the elaborate piece. Custom-made ornaments featured motifs depicting icons from Onitsuka Tiger's rich history, linking the past with the present. A flawless lacquer finish, airtight drawers, and even three secret compartments hidden behind false doors and pseudo-floors, established the all-important authenticity of the design. Intriguing content made each compartment a discovery: a handmade miniature workshop, speakers playing a workshop soundscape, a screen showing a ‘making-of’ video.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
The sneaker’s global tour was a resounding success. At stores and trade fairs, sneaker fans tried to unlock the secret compartments to claim the treasures within. Intrigued, people went on-line to discover more. Unique visits to onitsukatiger.com grew 125%, while total traffic saw a massive increase of 460%. Interest in the collection went up 20%, direct traffic (WOM) increased 40%, and referral traffic jumped 152%. The story of the shoe spread around the world, through blogs, tweets, magazines, showing that sometimes, to build something beautiful, even in a virtual world, you need the tools of a traditional craftsman.