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Sperry Top-Sider

How do you reinvent an authentic original?

The Challenge

After fast growth in the US, Sperry Top-Sider had to prepare for global expansion. They needed to claim global ownership of boat shoes, elevate the brand’s image and integrate communications across product categories and media.

Our Solution

Through research, we identified how and why people love the sea and how to express that passion in ownable visuals. We uncovered the power of the brand’s origins and leveraged that story to claim global icon status. From digital strategy to in-store experience, we executed a global calendar of integrated messaging across every touchpoint.

Unlocking the Heritage Story

Sperry Top-Sider has what most brands long for, an authentic and engaging heritage story. Paul Sperry was a real man and avid sailor, yet his story is unknown. Our goal was to bring this story to the forefront by launching a 360 campaign that highlights Paul Sperry's inventiveness.

Digital Strategy and Content

In the 24/7 digital space, brands must keep the conversation relevant, fresh and interesting. Our digital strategy mapped out monthly content themes, copy and creative executions for all key digital and social media channels. The strategy contained a mix of editorial and product-focused initiatives tailored to the strengths of specific platforms.


For SS14, we launched the #TOPSIDING social campaign, focused on instagram. Launched with an influencer campaign, the brand’s instagram followers grew from 33k to 86k, +153% in six months. We partnered with multiple style-focused influencers to provide photographic direction and quickly gain momentum and engagements. Fans were quick to pick up #topsiding, populating the Sperry Top-Sider with user-generated content, where it becomes shoppable.

Classics Reinvented

One of the most popular questions raised by consumers is "How do I style my boat shoes?” Our answer was to create editorial content with “real people who inspire, and style we admire.”

Retail Pop-Up Experiences

Pop-Up shops engage new consumers by tailoring the communication to their specific wants and needs – and most importantly, where they live and work. We created two unique pop-up experiences on opposite sides of the pond, recruiting new brand fans with immersive experiences where they least expected them. Located on London’s Neal Street, this Pop-Up served as a way to introduce the brand’s heritage to a market with no awareness. We brought the Paul Sperry story and history to life by creating a life-size timeline wall and utilizing props to pay off the brand’s craftsmanship and nautical heritage. Extra Butter, a well-known sneakerhead shop located on the Lower East Side in New York City, launched a collaboration with Sperry Top-Sider based on the classic '80s flick Weekend at Bernies. Inspiration for the space was pulled from the beach, 1980s neon colors and spray painting and the craftsmanship and heritage of the brand. The collection sold out within 48 hours.


We created iconic and seasonally focused imagery to be used across all of the brand's communication touchpoints; print, OOH and digital.