Activities/Travel/Events Sneakers, Fashion & Culture

Recap: Converse Canada’s Chuck Stories Event

If you follow me on Instagram and Snapchat, you would have seen that last Thursday night I was fortunate enough to participate and check out a pretty cool marketing activation that was presented by Converse Canada.

The next day at work, I decided to wear a special pair of Chuck Taylors that created a lot of buzz which were directly related to this event. Therefore, since the people were asking and when I heard about this event I knew I had to do a recap post on it. To get a visual preview of what to expect in this post see the recap video below and subscribe to the channel!

How I Got In?

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The Chuck Experience Kit that was available on Converse CA

Thankfully, I kept my emails subscription to Converse Canada after receiving the “L” on the Off White X Chuck Taylors. Approximately a week or two ago, I got an email from Converse Canada about a Chuck Stories.

Firstly, I dismissed it because I wasn’t too sure about it. However, I got another email stating that there was an event in Toronto and that’s when I decided to click.

Converse Canada had set up an event where it was invite only and for the public to attend they would have to purchase The Chuck Experience Kit for $100 CAD. As seen above, the kit comes with a fresh pair of All-Star Chuck Taylors, the physical invite and a large plastic shoulder bag to carry the shoes. *Note the drawstring bag (aka my new lunch bag) was provided at the event.

See you may think that $100 for a pair of Chucks is a rip-off. I was skeptical about it too but the reason for the purchase is because I knew this event would be interesting, it said to bring a guest and hopefully have a good set up.

I was right!

The Venue

A mural set up just for this event. Clever marketing not only because of the awareness of the campaign, but because this specific area already has solid murals.

The way that Converse successfully set up this activation is through the partnership of other local businesses, one being Kadence Inc.,

Location: 146 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, ON.

The location used to be called Ossington Tire and is in the Trinity-Bellwoods area. It was pretty cool on how they set up their marketing displays and renovated the area to set their tone.

One of the many artistic displays inside the venue/garage itself.

They also had a cool chill area throughout and some nice backdrops for pictures that you could only take if you were at this event. This was another strong point for Converse.

Freebies

The most shocking and pleasing takeaway from the event was all the freebies!

One of the food options parked at the back of the venue.

I already mentioned above that the cloth/drawstring bag was free. However, what was also free was beer, Fiji water, food (dumplings and grilled cheese), slushies, popsicles and ice cream! Oh, and since my sister was the guest she didn’t have to pay for her chucks or customization! Yes, all of that was free!

What was also cool was that the head of Converse Canada was informed I came because I bought the bag/kit and wanted to talk to me. He asked for feedback and I couldn’t tell him everything but hopefully he will see this to get my full opinion.

They definitely got a W when it came to that! But let’s talk about the most important part of this event, in my opinion…

Customization

This was highly disappointing to say the least, and the prime reason why this event was a good attempt but not well executed and authentic.

These are my sister’s Chucks. As you can see, the stamping was poorly executed.

The reasoning for why I say that is because when I decided to order the experience kit, it mentioned the customization. In addition, with the campaign being ” #ChuckStories ” with the tag line ” all the stories are true” I would expect that there would be several customization options that would allow the consumer to tell their story.

As someone who loves sneakers ( I’m not comfortable with calling myself a sneakerhead) every sneaker I own has a story to tell which is why I was more intrigued in this event. It’s also why I wore my custom designed Air Force 1s. Check here for the Instagram post about those kicks here.

With respect to customization, there were three parts.

1. The Laces:

Great Wall Of Laces

It was a pretty cool set up where they had the laces hanging and you got to choose which Converse branded laces you would like to use in replacement or the standard white ones. I chose the yellow one because it reminded me of the caution tape.

  • 2. The Patches & Shoe Charms:
  • Ironing down the patches.
  • Earlier I mentioned that Converse put on a great event by partnering up with local businesses. One of these businesses partnered were Cry Wolf clothing. Their set up allowed you to choose a patch and two charms. Not much selection but I liked the crest logo Wolf one the most as the colour blocking worked well with my particular sneaker.
  • The different Charms and Pins.
  • 3. The Stamping/Lettering:
  • This was the final step and the most disappointing one. It was disappointing because when I used to mock up customs on the old converse website, the key element in the customization was putting your name or something that significant to you on the shoe itself.
  • However, for this event I was informed once i was in the front of the line that I can’t get it done because they only have black ink . They said if I wanted they can make an attempt on the toe cap. There were also limitations to the text count and how they were going to place it (eg. One word for both toe cap). This clearly wasn’t well thought of, which is highly disappointing.
  • What to Improve On?

  • This scenario of the third step of customization provides more clarity the point I made of the event being a good attempt but was not authentic. It was not authentic because without proper customization options then there will just be the same common story being told. One of Converse’s value proposition is that it is affordable and the Chuck Taylors silhouette is timeless.Next time, they should really invest more time on what they can bring for customization like Nike has done when they were at Foot Locker on Yonge & Dundas for NBA All Star Weekend 2016 or when they were at Complex Con 2017.
  • The final product.
  • It also looked like I was the only one who attended the event who purchased the experience kit. The event was mainly filled with influencers but it would’ve been better where there was more people like myself who just love sneakers. As Converse establishes themselves in this Canadian market it is imperative they do invest more time in the specific region or demographic they are trying to target. It’s more than just Instagram followers sometimes; it is also important for Converse Canada to offer more for the sneaker collectors to let their story of their Chucks be shared to many more.
  • Also, the front security were not attentive and rude which is upsetting.
  • Overall

    All in all, there were some highs and lows to this event. It was a creative marketing strategy but the execution could’ve been better. It was a really cool event and there was a lot of good takeaways for myself and for Converse Canada, if they reads this.

    Favourite picture taken from the event.

    I hope to see more from the brand and other brands in this market as well to do similar events to bring the sneaker community together and larger!

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