Dr. Martens is marking its 50th anniversary with a digital campaign that celebrates its musical roots, while connecting with the musical and stylistic preferences of a more contemporary audience. Current artists reinterpreted classic songs associated with each of the five decades of the brand’s history, with tracks and videos available for free download at drmartens.com. Tracks include the Noisettes covering Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen In Love”, and Cinematic Orchestra covering Jeff Buckley’s “Lilac Wine”. Video content includes behind-the-scenes clips of the recording sessions and a documentary about the brand’s history.
Doc Martens’ approach is meant to appeal to a generation of more fashion-forward shoppers than the brand’s UK punk-nostalgic core, which revered its classic eight-eye boot. Tom Philips, creative director at Exposure New York – which developed the campaign – adds,
“It’s a brand that people have tended to adopt from different subcultures throughout its history. What we’re seeing today is a whole new generation of kids picking up on the brand and giving their own slant on what it means and how it can be worn.”
The release date of the campaign commemorates the date of the first production of the brand’s classic 1460 boot: April 1, 1960. Limited editions of the 1460 and 1461 boots and shoes will be available. The campaign will be supported mostly via online efforts, with a limited augment of print media support.
What’s interesting about this campaign is that nostalgia, or a sense of retro-reinvention, is still effective at connecting with consumers’ desire to revisit times past. Brands can connect with the curiosity of those that may have heard or read about something they weren’t around to experience, as evidenced by Exposure’s recent work for Levi’s in London.