Finish Line’s New Ads From Innocean Are as Fresh as the Shoes in the Store

Kyle, Aleali May and Jacques Slade step right up

It’s gotta be the influencers!

Finish Line, the sports footwear and apparel chain, keeps pace with sneaker culture and adds some star power in these new “Shoes So Fresh” ads, created by Innocean USA.

First, iSpy, with my little eye, rapper Kyle in the recording studio, enjoying a fidget spinner and mid-day refreshment:

Spin it ’round and ’round, my man—like a vinyl 45!

Next, it’s fashion blogger Aleali May, smilin’ and stylin’ for those sweet, sweet shoes:

Meanwhile, YouTuber Jacques Slade opens up about unboxing:

Impressive box action, but Volvo’s record still stands!

Hey, who wants to try a celebrity combo on for size?

Finish Line chose those three influencers for their street cred among snearkerheads. “Jacques is the guy everyone turns to, to know exactly what the hottest shoes are,” Scott Hamlin, the brand’s senior director of marketing, tells AdFreak. “Aleali is all about fashion and versatility. And Kyle is one of the hottest hip-hop musicians on the market right now.”

As it turns out, the campaign’s authenticity transcends its endorsers.

“Edward Williams III, who plays the male employee—he lives across the street from a Finish Line, and knows the employees so well that he actually filmed his audition tape in the store,” says Innocean creative director Carissa Levine. “Getting him in character was a breeze.”

Hungry Man director Amir Farhang directs with a suitably kicky, offhand touch that helps elevate the material. “The man is wickedly funny in an understated kind of way,” agency creative director Jose Eslinger says. “We loved his Ikea and Adidas Swingman work. The icing on the cake is that he’s a sneakerhead himself.”

Watch more ads below. The first one features Corey B., who’s not quite a celebrity, yet, though he’s made big strides lately on Instagram.

Client: Finish Line
Agency: Innocean USA

SVP, Marketing: Michael Grimes
Senior Director of Marketing: Scott Hamlin
Senior Creative Director: Jeremie Dunning
Senior Director – Content, Social and Consumer Trends: Paul Diehl
Integrated Marketing Manager: Lori Riordan
Marketing Specialist: Lacey Duncan

Chief Creative Officer: Eric Springer
Creative Director (CW): Carissa Levine
Creative Director (AD): Jose Eslinger
Creative Teams: Josh Lee, Guilherme Grossi & Gabriel Gama, Tricia Ting & Alvaro Soto
EP, Content Production: Nicolette Spencer
Content Producer: Kira Linton
VP, Managing Director, Brand: Bridgett Judd
Brand Director: Parker Collins
Brand Manager: Alex Romero, Christy Butler
Director of Business Affairs: Ann Davis
Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Krista Horn
Broadcast Traffic: Christy Powers
Project Coordinator: Mason Yang

Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Amir Farhang
DP: Christophe Lazenberg
Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne, Mino Jarjoura, Dan Duffy, Caleb Dewart, Jacki Sextro
Producer: James Kadonoff
Company: Cut+Run LA
Editor: Jay Nelson
Executive Producer: Amburr Farls
Producer: Jared Thomas
Assistant Editor: James Bird

Song Titles: Chitlins & Phantom
Licensor: Beacon Street Studios
Composers Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: July 13, 2017 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT