Although Drew Barrymore is a prominent actor—a member of a legendary family of thespians, appearing at the age of 6 in ET, and, most recently, in the second season of the Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet, premiering March 23—she is not known for her singing or dancing abilities.
And that is precisely why she is starring, quite unexpectedly, in a new 100-second musical, launching today, that was created by R/GA Austin for Crocs, the casual shoe brand.
In “Crocs: The Musical,” Barrymore, 43, dressed in a white blouse, navy skirt and multiple pairs of Crocs—which she slips into and out of as she fleetly dances, sings and prances from set to set (four in total)—urges viewers to “get comfortable in your own shoes.”
The “Come As You Are” campaign was developed in 2016 by Yard, R/GA Austin and Crocs, and launched last year with digital advertising, social media and PR; previous advertising efforts focused primarily on traditional media. It used the hashtag #ComeAsYouAre and featured, in addition to Barrymore, WWE wrestler and actor John Cena, South Korean singer YOONA, and Canadian-born musician Henry Lau. It also featured “Be Yourselfie,” a GIF generator that let users express what makes them unique.
R/GA Austin, which has been working with Crocs since 2016, initially developing its social media strategy, recommended that the shoe company adopt a musical format for 2018, enabling the brand to celebrate the different styles and buyers of Crocs and different occasions on which they wear them.
In the musical, Barrymore plays a multicolored piano on a seaside promenade while wearing the white classic clog, and then hits a red carpet, twirling a big turquoise and white umbrella. Next, she runs to a park, where she is surrounded by a group of dancers who lie and stretch on colorful mats, filmed from above, à la Busby Berkeley, and then does a soft shoe, in a black pair of Crocs’ newest style, Literide.
From the park, she scampers to an airplane interior, where she plops down among a row of passengers dressed for vacation, and joins them as they dance in their seats. In the last scene, she returns to the promenade, and, wearing teal classic clogs, dances up a storm with the entire cast before a white couch is wheeled out by the crew.
Barrymore sits down here and sings, “Just come as you are and do the things that you will do. Just get comfortable in your own shoes.” A turquoise-and-white “Come As You Are” banner is unfurled behind her, as people off camera applaud her musical debut.
“We felt the musical was the epitome of a celebration of each particular set of Crocs’ customers,” said Kate Rush Sheehy, group strategy director at R/GA Austin. “The customers in the first scene on the boardwalk promenade are vacationers; on the red carpet, they’re fashionistas; in the park, they’re people interested in fitness; on the plane, they’re travelers getting comfortable in an historically uncomfortable setting; and in the final boardwalk promenade scene, they include moms, one of Crocs’ top consumers.”
Terence Reilly, chief marketing officer of Crocs, said R/GA’s musical concept gives viewers “a little bit of happiness and joy in life.”
Of the positioning, Sheehy added: “I like ‘Come As You Are’ because it’s a double entendre about being physically comfortable, emotionally comfortable with yourself. It’s really ownable to Crocs, the shoe of choice for people who value comfort most.”
For her part, Barrymore said in a statement: “I’m not a singer or a dancer, but for this campaign to celebrate what is achievable when we are comfortable just being ourselves, I wanted to get outside of my comfort zone. I love how it turned out, and it has proven to me that when you’re comfortable in your own shoes, you can do anything.”
The 2018 campaign—which features all 2017 brand ambassadors except Cena—will also feature multiple versions of the musical, including one starring Yoona and Lau; behind-the-scenes footage and photography; outreach to musically inclined influencers; and Crocs’ first-ever Snapchat lens featuring a song from the musical.
With choreography by Eboni Nichols—a dancer who has choreographed for Rihanna, Britney Spears and Usher, among others—the video also features music by Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau of Beacon Street Studios. The audio was recorded by Barrymore at Capitol Music Group’s legendary Studio B in Hollywood, Calif., where the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and John Mayer, among others, have previously recorded.
Established in 2002 as a boat-shoe specialist, Crocs went public in 2006 and today offers a wide variety of styles for men, women and children, with over 50 million pairs sold worldwide last year. Its biggest markets are the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and Germany.
Agency (strategy & creative): R/GA Austin
Executive Creative Director: Jonathan Woytek
Production Company: Hungry Man
Post Production Company: Beast Editorial
Music/Sound Company: Beacon Street Studios
Art Director: Fernando Suarez
Copywriter: Dominique Curtis
Executive Producer: Jacki Sextro
Senior Content Producer: Nick Miller
Senior Producer: Laura Walters
Director: Dan Opsal
Photographer: Mark Selinger
Editor: Ariel Quintas
Composers: Andrew Feltentstein, John Nau
Choreographer: Eboni Nichols
Strategy Director: Kate Rush Sheehy, Liz Tavera
Director of Photography: John Barr
Director Business Affairs: Stephen Bernstein
Account Director: Megan Mills
Media Agency: McKinney