Brands on YouTube: Converse

Converse clearly has a YouTube marketing strategy, though it has almost nothing to do with shoes and everything to do with culture. Most of the channel consists of bands playing music, athletes jumping over things, or artists creating masterpieces on walls.

When they do happen to mention the shoes themselves, like in the Wiz Khalifa collection, the focus is still all about vibe and style.

Paid Media Example: The Making of “DoYaThing” featuring the Gorillaz, Andre 3000 and James Murphy

Here, Converse gives us a a behind the scenes look at the making of a Gorillaz music video. I am not quite sure what the song has to do with shoes, but try and see if you can count the number of appearances made by Converse, whether through product placement, subliminal images, etc…

Converse is successful at establishing its unique level of cool through this sort of paid media and letting the shoes, along with the people that wear them, speak for themselves.

Earned Media Example: Lace up Wiz Khalifa Style tutorial

As hinted at above, if you want to know anything about Converse shoes as physical products, you’ll have to go to the earned media makers.

Building off of Converse’s emphasis on style, there are plenty of tutorials by the fans on how to lace up the shoes in various ways. The video above is a reference to Wiz Khalifa’s signature sneaker lace up.

So, in this case, earned media is the culture that Converse’s paid media works to inform and inspire, something brands on YouTube would do well to mimic.

The Brands on YouTube series provides a quick snapshot of a brand’s presence on YouTube by highlighting one piece of paid media (an official video) and one piece of earned media (a fan video) for that brand, along with key insights, important trends, and data.


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  • Seems a lot like the Red Bull approach of making interesting content that appeals to those who might buy the product. Right?

    • Erik Weber

      I’d say so. Focusing and celebrating people’s passions is always a good approach.