Skateboards and rockstars help Vans build social media muscle

by Brian Kotlyar 13 Apr 2013 Blog Post

These days almost every consumer-oriented company is working hard to become the face of an aspirational lifestyle. Led by companies like Red Bull or Nike, these brands invest significant effort in embodying a ‘cool’ lifestyle. For brands, being cool mostly consists of involvement with remarkable events and experiences (like dropping Felix Baumgartner out of a low-flying space ship for example) or associating with notable, notorious, or interesting people. 

Vans, a subsidiary of V.F. Corporation, works hard to associate itself with youth culture through event sponsorship and music partnerships. It seems to be working. The brand was recently propelled up the Social Business Index by implicit and explicit endorsements of musicians old and new.

Metallica and Vans co-present ‘The Damage, Inc Stage’ at Orion Music & More Festival

Vans Damage Inc Stage

The Orion Music & More music festival partnered with Vans to bring Metallica and a massive skate ramp to the Detroit area. Social conversation was propelled by a tweet from Metallica to generate hundreds of social conversations (and the resulting earned media impressions) from Metallica fans and high-flying skate trick fans. 

Vans Metallica Vert Conversation 

Violinists and Punk Rockers Endorse the Product

The holy grail for a lifestyle brand is an implicit product endorsement from celebrities with natural credibility among their social audience. Vans saw its social activity increase as a direct consequence of this kind of attention on two occasions last week.

Lindsey Stirling a violin and dance performance artist (well known for her YouTube clips) shared her new Vans purchase with her avid social audience resulting in compliments galore for Lindsey, and a surge in attention for Vans as well.

Lindsey Stirling Tweets Her New Vans

Similarly, Taylor Jardine, member of band “We Are In The Crowd” showed off her new kicks in a photo on Instagram as well as a tweet. Hundreds of fans liked her photo and complimented her new custom shoes. Vans smartly thanked her for the compliment while basking in the freshly earned attention.

Tay Jardine's Vans

The resulting activity for Vans was an uptick in Conversation Strength for the brand (a major contributor to Brand Awareness) and hopefully a nice uptick in sales to match.

Vans Conversation Strength

This report was produced easily and almost instantly using Dachis Group’s Social Performance Monitor product.

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