We should have seen it coming that shoes would soon join the digital world and we’d be able to turn them into designer shoes based on our actions in social media. There’s something about shoes and the futuristic world we live in that always gets considerably more attention than anything else we’re wearing. And even if we’ve been off in our predictions about what kind of shoes we’d wear by 2015 (see “Back to the Future Part II”), we’re at least trying to mimic it as if it really will happen. Instead of self-tying Nikes, it’s too bad “Back to the Future Part II” didn’t instead choose Adidas printing images on our shoes from a fictitious website called InstaPic.
Now that Adidas is allowing us to do the same in the real world with our Instagram pics, are we really going to be changing the pattern of how we wear shoes, or is it just a forced technology fad? When you consider that Adidas has to create the shoes for you after choosing your wanted Instagram image online, it’s not going to be an instant technology where you can change your images at will. We have yet to have a technology that allows us to change how our shoes look on the fly, even if we know it’s coming eventually. Regardless, the idea of placing more personal images on our shoes is still an ingenious one, despite having to wait for them to arrive in the mail.
Would these go over well as new marketing tools in companies as a complement to the shirts, jackets and hat with a company logo? When you’re in a public place, the shoes might get noticed more than anything else being worn.
Shoes As Marketing Target
It seems that people check out people’s shoes often to give them an indication of who and what they are. That’s based on what some people say anyway, even if I don’t look at someone’s shoes first to get an impression of their lifestyle. In a public place, though, and especially waiting rooms, you’ll be seeing shoes up close and personal as people cross their legs in their seats and proudly display their footwear, or lack thereof.
Would this new Adidas Instagram shoe idea become an excuse to show off pictures from a company or even a logo as part of a team marketing effort? Considering Instagram is now used considerably for business marketing in keeping a visual sense of daily activity, you can see those images existing well outside a computer monitor. With many companies doing expanded marketing by selling shirts and hats people wear in public to promote new companies, seeing a business logo or image on a set of shoes is going to foster a few arched eyebrows.
Someone waiting in a medical office for instance, might have their shoes prominently displayed with a business logo as people sit and walk by. You can be sure someone is going to ask about them, hence starting a conversation about what their company is and perhaps setting off an exchange of business cards.
While Adidas hasn’t yet addressed the marketing potentials of these shoes, it’s hard to imagine they’ll market them based on just making personal fashion statements. Then again, perhaps we shouldn’t underestimate people buying them merely as fashion choices when there’s still a strong contingent of America that obsess over shoes. Adidas and Nike continually prove that people are still willing to pay a fortune for a designer shoe, even if they’re probably nowhere near worth the cost in the materials used.
In that regard, Adidas may have just opened the gates to even more obsession about shoes. Get ready for an oversaturation of self-designed shoes that spark conversations in every public place. By the time it gets a little too conventional, someone will be on to selling shoes that are connected to a Wi-Fi signal so you can changes your shoes at will with your own cyber image. Just what those images are may precipitate new signs in restaurants that say “offensive images on shoes, no service.”