The MSCHF Big Red Boots took the internet by storm, becoming a viral sensation in a matter of days. Inspired by the iconic boots worn by Astro Boy, the knee-high, bright red boots were made from a combination of plasticky rubber and rubbery plastic, which gave them a distinct, otherworldly look. MSCHF's use of shockvertising to promote the boots, which included Lil Nas X's "Satan Shoes," proved to be a successful strategy as they quickly sold out within minutes of being made available for purchase. Their target audience was likely younger, fashion-forward individuals who enjoy bold, unique accessories that make a statement.
It's hard to imagine a world before these honking-red knee-high boots that look like they were sculpted from polymer clay in the metaverse. But now, they're everywhere, from the halls of New York Fashion Week to the famous feet of Lil Wayne, Diplo, and many other celebrities and influencers. And as of today, they're officially on sale for $350 a pair on the MSCHF website, where they sold out in a matter of minutes.
But it's not just the boots that are interesting. The fact that they've sold out in minutes is a testament to the power of viral marketing. MSCHF has managed to create a product that is both uncanny and fun, disposable and calculated. And in a world where the internet moves at lightning speed, the Big Red Boots have managed to capture our attention and keep it for ten days straight. They've already become a viral sensation, and it's not hard to see why. They're really not shaped like feet, but they are extremely shaped like boots. And if you kick someone in these boots, they go BOING! It's hard not to smile at the whimsicality of it all.
The Big Red Boots have had a wild ride. First, Instagram model Sarah Snyder starred in a campaign wearing the boots as a humanoid cartoon character walking around the streets of New York City. Then, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wore them to a game. And finally, they made an appearance at New York Fashion Week, worn by a handful of influencers. Also, let’s not forget that they were sold out within minutes on their website.
MSCHF's marketing strategy for the Big Red Boots was built around the concept of shockvertisement, which is a form of advertising that aims to shock or outrage viewers in order to grab their attention and generate buzz. The company used a number of tactics to promote the boots and create a viral sensation that would get people talking.
Firstly, the boots themselves are visually striking, with a bright red color and a design that is reminiscent of the cartoon character Astro Boy. This eye-catching design immediately grabs the viewer's attention and makes the boots stand out from other products on the market.
MSCHF also leveraged social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to showcase the boots in a way that was designed to go viral. They created a cheeky campaign featuring Instagram model Sarah Snyder walking around New York City in the boots, which quickly gained traction on social media. They also posted videos of various celebrities and influencers wearing the boots, further fuelling the hype.
Furthermore, the use of shockvertising helped to generate significant media attention and buzz around the Big Red boots, creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity around the limited edition shoes. This, in turn, helped to drive sales and establish the boots as a viral sensation, demonstrating the power of shockvertising and viral marketing in promoting new and unusual products.
In addition, MSCHF intentionally created controversy around the boots by making claims such as "If you kick someone in these boots they go BOING!" and implying that the boots were made with "thermoplastic polyurethane (plasticky rubber) and ethylene vinyl acetate (rubbery plastic)" – materials that are not commonly used in high-end fashion. This type of messaging was intended to be provocative and spark debate among consumers.
The boots' status as a cultural icon, along with their limited availability, has turned them into something of an investment for those who are able to purchase them. As with other limited-edition collectibles, such as sneakers and artwork, the rarity and exclusivity of the boots have driven up their value in the resale market, with some pairs fetching prices far beyond their original retail price. Some individuals have also taken to auctioning the Big Red Boots on online marketplaces, where others can bid up the price. This has created a sense of scarcity and exclusivity around the boots, driving up demand and causing some individuals to pay exorbitant prices to get their hands on a pair. The boots have become more than just a fashion statement, but also an investment in a piece of cultural history, demonstrating the power of viral marketing and the influence of online hype culture.
Overall, MSCHF's use of shockvertisement to promote the Big Red Boots was highly effective, generating significant buzz and ultimately leading to the boots selling out within minutes of their release. While some critics may argue that this type of marketing is manipulative and cheapens the product, others may see it as a creative way to break through the noise and make a splash in an overcrowded marketplace.