Cannes Lions

The Last Run


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As Europe’s leading online shop for fashion, Zalando is known for its wide range of products rather than creating a personal and emotional bond to its customers. The faceless giant has a strong top-of-mind brand awareness but faced the challenge of authentically expressing their brand values in the much smaller local market of Switzerland.

The brief was to create an activation with a cross media campaign to create national PR buzz through social and earned media and transform Zalando in a national love brand. The following KPI’s were defined:

1. Brand awareness: new and old customers should be aware of Zalando.

2. Emotional brand bonding by creating brand love.

3. Creating attention for Zalando’s winter sports fashion range.


Zalando stands for expressing individuality through fashion and celebrating the uniqueness of people. Their mission: to encourage individual lifestyle without being restricted by social conventions. A message we wanted to spread out in whole Switzerland.

That is why we teamed up with former Olympic champion Iouri Podladtchikov, nationally known for his free spirit attitude, and created a customized idea: THE LAST RUN. A live event where we asked the Swiss snowboarder to rock the halfpipe one last time after he suddenly announced his retirement in summer 2020, without a proper goodbye – to give Iouri and Switzerland the epic ending this sports legacy deserved. And making a bold brand statement for individuality by celebrating character.

By making The Last Run exclusively available via Youtube livestream, we enabled a Covid-19 safe live event that delighted many people around the globe.


In Covid-19 dominated times, we wanted to create a joyful story to bring positive sentiment for Zalando. As Zalando has a wide demographic range of customers, we also needed a mass media compatible story. So we decided to bring back a sports legend who is an interesting talking partner, delivering great quotes which guarantee a high click rate. We produced various assets: Ten lifestyle photos of Iouri in Zalando winter sports outfits, a Making Of video of Iouri's photo shoot and an event trailer. Major news outlets got an interview with Iouri one week prior to the announcement and we defined January 14th as embargo time. This enabled a massive simultaneous PR impact as no media outlet refused the story because another one was faster. We pitched the story every journalist with an individual hook. Also we sent out a press release on launch day and after the event.


Centered around the live event in the biggest halfpipe of the world – the «Big Beast of Laax» – we created a cross media campaign with a media eco-system including online and offline touchpoints in every step of the story.

During the promotion of THE LAST RUN, we got the nation hyped with a jaw-dropping trailer which was styled in iconic black and white as well as in Zalando’s brand color orange and shown as social and out of home ads. Furthermore, Iouri assembled five different fashion looks from Zalando's winter sports assortment and dressed up with them for a photo shoot in the Swiss Alps. Those lifestyle pictures were then used for social posts and ads, too.

All the ads linked to the core piece of the campaign: the hub on, where the audience got all the informations about the live event and where they also discovered Iouri’s five curated Zalando fashion looks that were of course available in the online shop, too. PR articles in every major Swiss media outlet amplified the reach. On the event day itself, a newsletter, app push notification and a header banner on the landing page of created additional buzz.

THE LAST RUN was then live streamed on Youtube and the message «FOLLOW YOUR OWN PATH» in the end of the video made clear what Zalando stays for. After the live event, we promoted the limited THE LAST RUN JACKET designed by Iouri himself which Zalando customers could win via owned social media channels and influencers.


We achieved 34 million contacts only through editorial PR coverage, which means we reached every Swiss citizen 4 times only by earned media. All major media outlets published the story. During the two weeks between the announcement of the event and the event itself, we realized 34 clippings in Print, Radio, TV and Online. A day after the event, Iouri Podladtchikov was a live studio guest on the Swiss National Broadcasting Station SRF, the largest electronic media house of Switzerland.

Furthermore, Iouri and Zalando were on the front page of «20 Minuten», the biggest newspaper (Online and Print) of Switzerland. The same media also shared online the livestream of the event – for free.

Therefore, this campaign created 550’000 EUR advertising equivalent value. Surpassing of all relevant KPIs and countless positive comments show that Zalando’s brand values were brought to life on a national level by reaching the whole nation not only once but many times. The coverage was thoroughly in a positive sentiment and the link between Iouri Podladtchikov and Zalando granted Zalando a love push which was highly visible in the social media (owned channels as well as on the influencers channels) and online press comments. The message of celebrating unique characters, always connected to Zalando, was heard in whole Switzerland.

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