Benjamin Li
Sep 26, 2013

Crocs signs Korean celebrity Ga-In to broaden appeal beyond comfort

ASIA-PACIFIC - Crocs, the maker of bright plastic sandals that most people would not call 'stylish' (and many people would call 'ugly'), is signing celebrities in various countries to show consumers that its products are not only comfortable but also cool and stylish.

Ga-in: Tasked to make Crocs cool
Ga-in: Tasked to make Crocs cool

In its latest move, Crocs has signed as a brand ambassador Ga-In, a Korean pop star and actress who is a member of the girl band Brown Eyed Girls and was featured in Psy’s “Gentleman” music video. Ga-In will promote the Autumn and Winter Collection in South Korea through public appearances and an ad campaign.

A PR spokesperson for Crocs Asia told Campaign Asia-Pacific that Ga-In was chosen as “she is very popular in Korea, very stylish and young.”

In March, Crocs launched a mobile game called Run Sailor Run. It has also appointed various celebrities in the region, including:

  • Ro Hong-chul, a TV entertainer, famous for his elevator dance in Psy's Gangnam Style
  • Tosh Zhang, a singer and actor who is a member of ‘Ah Boys to Men’
  • Laureen Uy, a popular fashion blogger in the Philippines
  • Scha Alyahya, an actress, model and tv host in Malaysia.

The spokesperson added that the ambassadors are popular, edgy, stylish individuals who represent the values of Crocs and appeal to the 18-30 age group, which is also the target audience of the online game.

The brand does not want people to think its shoes are only for kids, even though it does offer licensed products with Sanrio and Disney characters, as well as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The celebrities help to create opportunities to engage with fans via social media, “as it would be more interesting than just showcasing shoe products in conventional way,” the spokesperson said.

Crocs’s competitors vary from flipflop brand Havana to Birkenstock to Brazilian plastic shoe brand Melissa, which has been launching crossover collections with heavyweight fashion designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood, and sneakers like Nike, adidas, Converse

Though not a sports-oriented brand, Crocs launched a golf collection two years ago in collaboration with Hank Haney, who was the ex-coach of Tiger Wood. Haney is still the brand ambassador for this golf shoe collection.

In addition, the brand offers a Crocs shoes collection for professional chefs, thanks to its non-slippery rubber sole. American celebrity chef, writer and media personality Mario Batali, who runs a number of Italian restaurants in the US, Singapore and Hong Kong, has made a pair of orange Crocs part of his signature look.



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