March 26, 1987 marked the release of the iconic Air Max 1, therefore Nike declared March 26th as #AirMaxDay! Perfect for all the sneakerheads out there. The first Air Max 1 was designed 27 years ago by designer Tinker Hatfield and aerospace engineer Frank Rudy. The trainer introduced Air Cushioning Technology and more importantly, the exposed signature air bubble. The air bubble was first used in 1978 but the Air Max 1 was the first time the bubble was exposed!
Marking a 27th birthday may seem a little strange as it’s not a typical milestone, but perhaps this move is what makes the campaign so good. Nike aren’t waiting around for that 30th birthday, they are living in the now and tapping into the revival. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will know that the trainer is no longer just associated with sport. It has long been more than just something to wear in the gym for a long time thanks to Air Jordans, and RUN DMC practically making the Adidas trainers the coolest thing on the planet! Either way it, 2014 marks the year trainers went high fashion.
The Chanel couture show sent models down the runaway in pastel trainers, Raf Simons recently collaborated with Adidas and Riccardo Tisci reworked the 80’s Air Force 1. A few years ago ‘The Chelsea Girl’ would never have been seen in trainers and now they’re mixing their Nikes with their Celine coats and Mulberry bags. The FROW is lined with trainers – hallelujah! Something comfortable to wear and no more blisters!
There’s no doubt the 90’s trend that is back! Thankfully crimped air and shell suits haven’t quite made a comeback, but crop tops, scrunchies (I couldn’t be happier about this, currently rocking a black velvet scrunchie) dungarees, bumbags (not the coolest, but I can be far more expressive with my dancing now that my hands are free) hoop earrings (hello JLo) platform heels and oversized jackets. This nostalgic era has seen Nike sales soar and they’ve created a 3.26 trainer to celebrate that! The design is a simple red, white and ‘highlighter yellow’ trainer that is similar to the first original design, with the date 3.26 embroidered on the shoe's tongue. To celebrate this, Nike uploaded great content through all of their social channels using #AirMaxDay. Think lots of old school advertising, short videos, throwback images of celebs rocking the look and loads more. Most content was consumers created, either by uploading images of them rocking the latest Air Max or old photos of how they used to wear them.
There are currently 57,022 images on Instagram with the hashtag #AirMaxDay (and this figure grows in the hundreds by the day) showing that the consumer love affair with Air Max is as strong today as it was when they first appeared. With such a passionate fan base, it’s the perfect opportunity for brands to engage their consumers. Fashion retailer ASOS saw an opportunity to incorporate their brand with Nike playing on the famous trend. They started a Google hangout with their stylists, showcasing different style and ASOS outfit ideas to wear with your Air Max! Sounds good right? An idea that could really made a bang online!
Do I think it worked?
I am both a huge Nike and ASOS fan, I thought it would be a great collaboration between the two, so I avidly tuned in at 1pm. I was greeted with a slow and quiet half hour of what felt like something that had almost been made up on the spot. It didn’t draw me in, I wasn’t excited or engaged and was quite happy to have it on in the background – then they brought on Jessie J and I almost muted the whole thing. Nike and ASOS both have an incredible social presence, their content is exciting, fresh and ever engaging to their huge audiences – honestly, this was a bit of a fail. The hangout could have worked better if ASOS would have incorporated more of the history of the Air Max, showcasing the evolution of the trainer and how people have styled them with different trends over the years. It is the nostalgic aspect that consumers are currently buying into - including me.