Despite being a global brand message, Diesel's 'Be Stupid' campaign has provided the inspiration behind some diverse and innovative work in different markets around the world.
The essence of 'Be Stupid' is fun, with a touch of mischief. So when promoting its footwear in Japan, Diesel wanted to offer consumers a chance to experience the chance to enjoy being stupid, and to communicate a 'kick ass' theme to its young, fashion-conscious target audience in a striking way. The idea was to present Diesel sneakers as the superior shoe for 'kicking ass' in such a way that would generate buzz and inspire viral communication across social networks and forums.
If Diesel sneakers were made for kicking ass, then the most obvious choice was to give shoppers the opportunity to test the brand's claim. An 'Kick Ass Hall' was built at the Nagisa Music Festival.
The action of kicking someone's ass is quite rude in Japan, so Diesel turned the idea into a game whereby participants compete to see how far they could kick a willing volunteer, dubbed 'the Asser', down a short track. A pair of Diesel sneakers was up for grabs if the contestant succeeded in kicking their Asser far enough down the track.
Several Assers were recruited to fulfil the task of being kicked. The recruitment exercise served to generate PR hype before the event, creating more awareness for the brand. The role of Asser came with an attractive remuneration package of ¥50,000 per day, which helped to garner even more buzz.
The recruitment story was ranked the top new story of several days on Mixi news, the largest social network in Japan. PR coverage equivalent to more than ¥30,000,000, was generated during the course of the campaign, include coverage in both online and print.
More than 3,300 tweets were received during the campaign phase.
Diesel received more than 4,960 applications from prospective Assers.