Cannes Lions

Taking Steps

OGILVY, Chicago / S.C JOHNSON / 2019







KIWI Shoe Care believes everyone deserves to walk with pride. For generations, parents have been using the act of polishing shoes as an opportunity to teach their kids valuable life lessons, like the value of hard work and taking care of the things you love. To launch the new KIWI sneaker cleaner, we wanted to reframe this traditional teaching moment for a new generation of shoe care users by showing an honest and open conversation between a father and son about the value of the steps you take in life.


For many people, polishing shoes gives parents an opportunity to pass down their wisdom and talk to their kids about valuable life lessons. And even though the shoes we wear have changed, the lessons that parents have to share are still as valuable. To show how sneaker cleaner could still be a part of this tradition, we wanted to show an honest conversation between a father and son about the value of shoes and the importance of the steps you take in them.


The hype around sneaker culture has reached an all-time high. Limited Edition releases resell for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars. Our strategy was to engage the sneakerhead community on social media to shift the conversation from the value of your shoes to the importance of the steps you take in them. To make sure we got our message to the people who help create the hype, we launched the film on Complex - the media platform with the largest audience of millennial sneaker consumers.


The film features a father and son having an open and honest conversation about important life values. What starts as an exchange about a son taking care of his shoes, turns into a bigger conversation about the importance of the steps he will take in life. The father uses his own experience to illustrate that sometimes walking like a man means walking away from difficult or confrontational situations, and to remind his son that no matter how important his shoes are to him; he is worth more than his shoes.


In its first 24 hours, the film received praise from a wide range of sneaker industry experts:

“Never would think a heritage shoe care brand would create content like this. So simple, relevant and meaningful.”

“This @KiwiShoeCareUS short film is powerful! It’s a lesson that we must teach our children about all material things & that their life is more important”

“The father and son at the table is always a beautiful thing to witness because of the entirely wrong perception around the absentee Black Father”

“Quite possibly the MOST REAL ADVERTISEMENT you’ll ever see related to generational sneaker discussion”

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