Building a fashionable brand image
A Dr Martens case study

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Page 5: Promotion

Dr Martens 4 Image 6Another example of an initiative to raise awareness of the Dr. Martens brand is its association with the musical ‘Rent’. The musical is loosely based on ‘La Boh me’. It follows eight young people living in New York and explores issues such as love, sex, homelessness, poverty, etc. The show won four Tony Awards in 1997 and has received excellent reviews from the critics.

The producers of the show were very keen to develop some form of joint promotion with the Dr. Martens brand, especially as Dr. Martens is mentioned in some of the songs and the cast wear Dr. Martens boots. Dr. Martens recognised the opportunities such an association would present and the show’s content was also perfect for Dr. Martens to underline its support for Shelter. The promotional package put together included the following elements:

  • A competition in the ten Shelly stores in London and the Dr. Martens Department Store in Covent Garden. The competition was free to enter, with the first prize being a trip to New York provided by aka - the agency handling the show in the UK.
  • A CD of highlights from the show was given as a gift with purchases of Dr. Martens footwear in the eleven stores. It included information about Shelter, Dr. Martens and the show and informed the buyer that money would be given to Shelter. In addition, the CD contained a voucher enabling the holder to receive a discount of £2.50 from the price of a ticket to the show.
  • In view of the high profile support that Shelter receives from a wide variety of bands, and because of Dr. Martens close relationship with people in the music industry, it was decided to hold a Gala Charity Performance of ‘Rent’ in May 1998. This event raised funds for Shelter and provided the production with a very high level of PR. Dr. Martens promoted the production extensively in-store - raising £20,000 for Shelter. The success of the promotion is being evaluated on an ongoing basis so that lessons can be learnt which will help to inform ongoing marketing initiatives.

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