When You’ve Got “Nothing to Wear”, You Can Help Others Get Shoes!

Posted in Blog, News on Mar 21, 2019

How many of us have said “I’ve got nothing to wear”? But how many of us really meant that, when what we were actually trying to say was “I don’t have a pair of shoes I like”?

All those shoes we only wore once – or, be honest, maybe not even once – could end up helping someone who actually needs them. People for whom one pair of shoes is a necessity. People for whom one simple pair of shoes could bring great joy.

This was the simple insight from which "The Ott(h)er shoes" campaign was created by The Good Company and Digital Friday for their client, Otter. A project for footwear donations in a country where people either have to pay for this service or lack access to it altogether.

This is why Otter and the Red Cross have developed a program that allows the public to aid others by offering shoes in good condition to those who need them.

The campaign was joined by the Total Wash brand, which helped sanitize the donations.

Through this project, people are encouraged to keep doing what makes them happy, while simultaneously bringing joy.

A joy that we, who have footwear forgotten in the back of a closet somewhere, may not have felt for a long time. A simple joy that stems from a real need. A joy fuelled by the desire to have some shoes to wear.

Joined by Cristina Bazavan and Marius Manole, known for their involvement in social and cultural projects, Otter tried to convey that anyone can do a good deed.

They invited people on the campaign’s landing page, and people came and donated in their thousands. And the process developed by Otter was specially designed to be simple and easy to use, with no transport costs for donors.

Once the 3 campaign months were over, the simplicity of the donation process and the efficiency of communication were felt. More than 2,200 people got involved, donating over 5,000 pairs of shoes. At the end of the 3 months, Otter joined in the efforts of all participants, donating over 2,000 brand-new pairs of shoes.

"The Otter Shoes was the first social project we did with the Otter team, and, since right now there aren’t many national footwear donation projects, we did not set high expectations in the beginning. We didn’t know how the public would respond, especially online, whether they would get involved, whether they would donate responsibly. After the first month, when we received pristine shoes from nearly 1,000 people, we were all surprised and decided with Otter to extend this project for two more months. The news travelled very quickly and we were delighted to read and hear all around us that people learned about the project, got involved and even spread the word", said Magda Topolică (Sr. Accound Manager, The Good Company).

Through the Red Cross Romania, the products donated by Otter and those supplied by the public and already in the donation process reached night shelters and association centres throughout the country – for example, in Vrancea, the protected homes "Sf. Vasile cel Mare" and "Acasă" in Gugesti, the protected home "Micul Rosmalen" in Oreavu, the protected homes " Sf. Gheorghe" and "Casa Bavareza" in Virtescoiu, but also senior homes in the counties of Giurgiu, Dâmbovița, Ialomița, Prahova, Teleorman and Călărași.

The rest of the donated products, as well as less usual footwear, such as elegant shoes, will be distributed by the Red Cross through the campaigns organized by its subsidiaries during the winter holidays, along with other types of products.

Furthermore, bloggers were involved in this campaign through a “message” in the shape of an empty shoe box, inviting them to donate a pair they no longer wear.

"We are happy with the scope taken by this project, just as we are with the fact that, at the end of the campaign, we are talking about thousands of people helping and thousands of others who are being helped. So, we decided to follow in the footsteps of our customers and friends of The Otter Shoes project, supplementing the donations with a further 2,000 pairs of new shoes, offered by Otter Distribution. The responsibility shown by our customers impressed us, and we must mention that we enjoyed, in the last month, the involvement of several private companies and even learning institutions, organizing internally to contribute to our undertaking", said Cristi Movilă (Online Department Director with Otter Distribution).

The entire project wasn’t missed in the media, with dozens of mentions in print and on TV, 135 mentions in social media, over 11,000 likes and an engagement of more than 49,000 comments, shares and video views.

In summary, The Ott(h)er Shoes message reached over 2 million Romanians.

Participating teams

The Otter team participating in developing the campaign was comprised of: Cristi Movila (eCommerce Director) and Claudia Nastase (Online Marketing Specialist). The team participating in developing the campaign was comprised of: Delia Margarit (Managing Partner, The GOOD Company), Magda Topolica, (Sr. Account Manager, The GOOD Company), Bogdan Jilobnitchi (Strategic Planner, The GOOD Company), Florence Luca (Creative Director, Digital Friday), Teodor Bradu (Creative, Digital Friday), Anita Kevorchian (Graphic Designer, Digital Friday).