TikTok campaign run delivers for Athlete’s Foot

A creator-led video campaign targeting a younger adult market chalks up strong social media engagement and reach for the shoe brand

Athlete’s Foot reports its first TikTok campaign reached almost five million people in a few weeks as part of its launch of Asics’ latest Kayano 28 shoe, an important annual event for sports shoe retailer.  

Accent group creative GM marketing, Deena Colman, wanted to engage a younger audience by adding new channels. Athlete's Foot was attracted to TikTok because of its younger demographic, its participatory culture and the idea that creators’ clips are likely to be perceived as authentic by its audience. The shoe retailer’s traditional customer, mainly found on radio, is 35 to 55 years old but Athlete’s Foot wanted to reach 25 to 44-year-olds with the latest campaign work.  

The creator-led campaign kicked off with a top view ad, in which @sarahmagusara runs around, waving a pair of the latest Kayanos to tempt users to ‘chase’ her. The ad was served to everyone opening the app on launch day, with Sarah reappearing in other segments including one where she crosses a finish line. If users catch up with Sarah at the end of the ‘race’, they are invited to sign up to enter a competition to win one of 28 pairs of the shoes. 

Credit: Athletes Foot / TikTok

“Our campaign delivered; we're pretty happy with the results. The top view ad alone delivered 2.6 million impressions in one day, and TikTok has an audience that’s not necessarily found in other channels,” said Colman. 

“TikTok is a very different platform to Instagram, for example, where people might scroll quickly on their feet. Or they might look through stories, but don't have the dwell time and same engagement. People are ‘sticky’ on TikTok and give creators a lot of credibility - they seem to engage with them authentically.” 

According to founder of SEO consultancy Backlinko, Brian Dean, TikTok is the most engaging social media app, with an average session length of 10.85 minutes, double Pinterest at 5.6 minutes. Its millions of users usually revisit TikTok several times a day.

To add momentum, the Asics' launch advertising was followed by ads put together by content creator, @alexis_bree who, like the top view ad, ran around, gaining 4788 views at press time. Second creator, @zaraliang, also offered entertaining moves that caught the eyes of 276,500 viewers since the campaign's launch in late July. TikTok's creator solutions team was engaged to help manage the creators and there were also collection ads to show off Athlete’s Foot’s range.

Read more: brands on TikTok

So far,  Athlete's Foot reports results including more than 13 million impressions and reach of over 4.9 million for the whole campaign. "We created over 5000 new leads [when people entered the competition at the end of the race] and that’s essentially 5000 new customers for us to reach out and engage with,” said Colman. 

TikTok A/NZ GM global business solutions, Brett Armstrong, said the campaign leveraged TikTok's participatory culture by encouraging the community to ‘race’ segment creators across the platform’s ‘for you’ page. 

“It's clear from this partnership that Athlete's Foot really understands the power of TikTok to connect with diverse audiences in an innovative and fun way,” said Armstrong.  

Credit: Athletes Foot / TikTok

The TikTok blitz also fed extra visitors to Athlete’s Foot’s website. The brand saw a 10 per cent increase people visiting its site, one-fifth of whom were new visitors. Sessions driven by social media were up 171 per cent and accounted for 19 per cent of all sessions to the retailer’s site.

In actual stores, there was a 9 per cent increase in sales of the shoe compared with the same time after the launch of last year’s model. 

“We’d definitely look at using TikTok again for the right opportunity and would like to explore organic there, too," Colman said. "This time, we used TikTok from an paid point of view, as opposed to starting to build that community on our own TikTok page. That's in the pipeline.

"Every channel has its place but should be used in terms of needs and campaign KPIs. We do a lot of work on social media, especially with Facebook and Instagram." 

Athlete’s Foot goes to market with an always-on approach and puts much of its time and effort into paid media. This could focus on events such as back to school, the free community Park Run, or sales including Afterpay, ‘cyber’ sales or other retail events such as window campaigns focused on a new shoe such as the Kayano 28.  

For consumer awareness, Athlete’s Foot often uses radio and out-of-home media, while the windows on its 130 stores around the country also raise significant awareness. 

Credit: Athletes Foot / TikTok

“Our always-on approach targets that conversion funnel and mid-funnel as well. Another layer of digital would be included for that middle funnel and that lower funnel and conversion," Colman explained. "We've also got performance marketing spend through Google and Ad Words and Google Shopping. We've worked with radio to drive the brand message of what we're about, which is getting the right fitting shoe, so having that chugging along and having always-on social tied together keeps the brand top of mind and builds credibility."

Athlete’s Foot plans to revamp its owned social media pages, especially Instagram, to boost value for followers during lockdown. The plan includes adding content such as online fitness classes, as well as sharing inspirational fitness stories. 

Accent Group, Athlete’s Foot parent, has 19 brands more than 500 stores in Australia and New Zealand and more than 20 online platforms. 

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here.  

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page 

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

More Brand Posts



CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 9 June

Read more

Great e-commerce article!

Vadim Frost

CMO’s State of CX Leadership 2022 report finds the CX striving to align to business outcomes

Read more

Are you searching something related to Lottery and Lottery App then Agnito Technologies can be a help for you Agnito comes out as a true ...


The Lottery Office CEO details journey into next-gen cross-channel campaign orchestration

Read more

Thorough testing and quality assurance are required for a bug-free Lottery Platform. I'm looking forward to dependability.

Ella Hall

The Lottery Office CEO details journey into next-gen cross-channel campaign orchestration

Read more

Great Sharing thoughts.It is really helps to define marketing strategies. After all good digital marketing plan leads to brand awareness...

Paul F

Driving digital marketing effectiveness

Read more

Blog Posts

Marketing prowess versus the enigma of the metaverse

Flash back to the classic film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Television-obsessed Mike insists on becoming the first person to be ‘sent by Wonkavision’, dematerialising on one end, pixel by pixel, and materialising in another space. His cinematic dreams are realised thanks to rash decisions as he is shrunken down to fit the digital universe, followed by a trip to the taffy puller to return to normal size.

Liz Miller

VP, Constellation Research

Why Excellent Leadership Begins with Vertical Growth

Why is it there is no shortage of leadership development materials, yet outstanding leadership is so rare? Despite having access to so many leadership principles, tools, systems and processes, why is it so hard to develop and improve as a leader?

Michael Bunting

Author, leadership expert

More than money talks in sports sponsorship

As a nation united by sport, brands are beginning to learn money alone won’t talk without aligned values and action. If recent events with major leagues and their players have shown us anything, it’s the next generation of athletes are standing by what they believe in – and they won’t let their values be superseded by money.

Simone Waugh

Managing Director, Publicis Queensland

Sign in