It’s no secret that Vans is one of the most vibrant brands of the past 40 years, so when they launched their recent “Off the Wall” campaign, they hooked up with F360 CDs/Directors Ross Harris and Joel Fox for an equally off the wall concept. Drawing on a diverse Vans fan base, the two creative directors helped develop a fresh and totally immersive brand experience with F360 ultimately producing and filming a full parade. The end result features a rowdy procession of skaters, bikers, bands, and floats emphasizing the unique voice and spirit of the well-known shoe brand.
Vans, who offered up the original idea of a parade, “had us involved from the ground up,” says Fox on the initial development of the shoot. “Ross and I collaborated with Vans to mix these things together in the loose structure of a parade. Vans employees came out, friends came out, we wanted people there. We knew we had to make something great that everyone would want to be at, or wish they had been at.” However, the creative duo also credits much of the success to creative casting. “We invited a bunch of pro skaters and BMXers as well as our friends and family,” recalls Harris. “We had a barbecue, a raffle, and a skate session. It really helped to keep the energy up. No bored extras looking at their phones counting the minutes for it to be over.”
In addition to the production, Harris and Fox worked to develop a social engagement component for the parade that encouraged the participants to share using #vansparade and spread photos from the shoot around Instagram and various other social hubs. Over 500 pictures made the rounds, helping to shape the buzz behind the ad. “In most cases these days clients want to keep the surprise of a spot entirely under their control,” acknowledged Fox. “There are many good reasons for this. But in general, I think its great to let the people involved tell their friends and the world. It’s the best buzz for an upcoming spot and can greatly increase its reach. Everyone there wants to do it. Give them a bullhorn!”
And while the spot will be hitting television soon enough, an extended web version is also on the way, giving an even deeper look at the “Off The Wall” parade in all its glory.
Creatives: Jared Abe, Steve Zeitzoff
Production Co.: F360
Directors / Creatives: Ross Harris and Joel Fox
Executive Producers: Eric Tu, Peter Friedman
Director of Photography: Tom Banks
Editors: Ross Harris, Jared Abe