Crocs retains McKinney to grow global footprint


The casual-footwear brand will make strides in the U.S., Asia, the U.K. and Germany

NEW YORK — Crocs Inc. has chosen McKinney to advertise its distinctive brand of casual footwear around the world. McKinney will handle everything from creative and strategy support to media activation and brand management for all of Crocs shoe collections, which includes more than 300 styles sold in 90 countries.

George Nguyen, managing director at McKinney here, told Campaign it’s a good fit because the agency has experience building global ad campaigns. McKinney is part of Cheil Worldwide, which has 47 offices in 40 countries. That’s a big deal for Crocs, which sells 50 million pairs of shoes globally each year. To date, Crocs has sold 300 million pairs of shoes in 90 countries.

"It was great creative work along with smart thinking and international experience (that landed McKinney the account," said Nguyen.

Crocs was previously represented by Cramer Krasselt out of Chicago.

Terence Reilly, Crocs vice president of global marketing, also hailed McKinney’s international savvy. "We were impressed by McKinney’s attention to detail, creative and strategic thinking and worldwide approach to the Crocs brand," Reilly said in a statement.

McKinney Chairman and CEO Brad Binegar explained how important the partnership is for the agency. "Crocs is the first global account that McKinney has brought into the Cheil Worldwide network, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea," Binegar said. "It’s a great win for the New York door of the agency, through which the account will be handled. And proof of our ‘one agency, two doors’ model of collaboration — bringing the right people together from both New York and Durham to create powerful ideas."

Although the move signals a new direction for Crocs, McKinney won’t be starting from scratch. McKinney will build its branding and marketing campaign around Crocs’ existing "Find Your Fun" global brand platform.

"What we’re trying to do is help them live up to their heritage," Nguyen told Campaign. "There’s an iconic product at the heart of this brand, and it’s incredibly well known. What we’re trying to do is really just bring it all to light with some momentum behind the ‘Find Your Fun’ platform."

McKinney’s efforts will focus on markets in the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea, the U.K. and Germany. Nguyen said the diversity of Croc’s many markets will be one of the agency’s biggest challenges.

"We’re in so many markets, we just have to make sure we do what’s right for each market because they’re so vastly different," he said.

Nguyen said McKinney will focus on educating the international market about the Crocs brand.

"It’s a very fashionable brand," he said. "In Tokyo, they just recently had a fashion show for Crocs Singapore. At the same time, it’s a much more established brand here in the US. So we will be going back to some core truths about the brand, what makes people love them, what makes people love their products."

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