Brazilian flip-flop brand Havaianas is getting a lot of attention in the media for a recent event they threw in New York City to celebrate the beginning of summer. If you're like me and didn't know what Havaianas were, here's a brief background. The first pair of Havaianas (Portuguese for Hawaiians) was born in in Brazil in 1962, based on the traditional Japanese sandal known as the Zori, whose soles are made of rice straw. The texture of Havaianas’ rubber soles are similar to that of rice grains, one of the many details that make them unmistakable. By 1980, millions of pairs of Havaianas were sold each year and became a basic necessity for all Brazilians due to their quality and comfort.
In 1998, Havaianas began crossing over to different countries, becoming well-known internationally. Soon they were featured in runway shows and were even branded as a sponsor of the '98 World Cup. Nowadays, they can be found in more than 60 countries. Recently, they pulled together a clever activation in Manhattan to kick-off the warmer weather. To get New Yorkers into the summer holiday spirit—and to turn the city into an actual urban jungle for a few hours—they riffed off the Christmas tree lot concept by staging a palm tree lot in Manhattan.
This pop-up lot, which came to 18th Street and 7th Avenue on May 17, offered city dwellers free palm trees to take home! Passersby could take home a free tree after they took a photo of the lot, shared it on social media, tagged Havaianas, and used the brand's official hashtag, #InstantJoy. How fun and easy is that? We would love a free palm tree!
More than 100 palm trees, which ranged from tabletop size to 12 feet, were delivered from South Florida for the activation. Produced by experiential agency Bait Shoppe, the set up also promoted Havaianas with colorful branded pots and a red wall of hanging flip-flops that faced 7th Avenue.
Going along with the summer theme, the activation featured two “shirtless beach bum” models aka some eye candy, who posed for photos and helped passersby pick out trees and hail taxis for home or office delivery. All and all bringing a sense of Brazil to the city!
We can't get enough of this uniquely branded concept. Havaianas has always known how to standout among competitors which is evident in the history of their success but it's clear they also know how to devour the details of a super creative marketing event. Now let's go out and get some Havaianas!