Paid Social: Starcom, Asics

During the pandemic, Asics shifted its in-store experience online, creating its own digital shoe expert, The Shoe Finder with agency Starcom. The work won the PMW Paid Social Award for smashing benchmarks and tailored the consumer journey throughout the process.



Winning the UK’s Race for Freedom, Asics

Sales of running shoes boomed during lockdown. To meet this need, Asics shifted its in-store experience online, creating its own digital shoe expert, The Shoe Finder. This emulates the in-store experience by asking a series of targeted questions, through which the brand can identify the perfect running shoe for each individual.

As well as growing market share, Asics aimed to deliver over 8,000 shoe finder ‘starts’ across paid social in the UK. A shoe finder start was defined as someone clicking the ‘start’ button on the Asics Shoe Finder tool on the website. Research showed that the surge in running was coming from three distinct groups: ‘New Runners’, those discovering running for the first time, ‘The Injury Avoider’, those picking up running after many years, and ‘Replacement Runners’, people converting from other sports that were unavailable at the time.

Asics and Starcom capitalised on this audience boom by bringing in-store expertise to isolated online shoppers with a campaign running across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

This used a combination of different targeting methods to ensure the brand could accurately reach these audiences at scale across social media platforms. These included Facebook interest and keyword targeting and ‘Socialdatabase’ audiences, based on analysing social behaviour and identifying new buyers the minute they showed interest. 

Content aimed at each of the groups was developed, such as tips for ‘New Runners’ and advice on preventing injuries for ‘The Injury Avoider’. The campaign exceeded benchmarks, while expert advice and a tailored consumer journey maintained users’ engagement throughout the process.


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