• 03.01.16

A Swedish Reebok Ad Gave Free Shoes To Anybody Who Ran Fast Enough Past It

Sneakerheads in Stockholm could sprint themselves into a new pair of kicks.

Sneaker brands have always built their marketing strategy around the impossible: They have to make running look like fun. (Sometimes they build that message by reminding you that, sure, the first person to run a marathon actually died.) It’s a challenge, but not an insurmountable one–and brands like Reebok know how to game the system a little bit. That’s what the sneaker giant did in Sweden, when it tapped ad agency Animal to create a pop-up outdoor ad on a busy street in Stockholm that challenged passers-by to a contest: If they could run past it at 17 kilometers per hour (or just over 10.5 mph), they could take home their own pair of ZPump 2.0 shoes.


Based on the video documenting the people who tried it, it looks like–er–17 kph isn’t actually that fast, or most rando Swedes who pass by a whimsical brand activation while they’re out shopping are just pretty speedy. Either way, the display–which featured a bunch of the snappy new kicks behind glass that opened up when someone sprinted by fast enough–looks like it gave people a fun reason to dart down the sidewalk in the middle of a busy day. If that’s what it takes to make ordinary people think they’d enjoy running, then a few pairs of ZPump 2.0’s is a small price to pay.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.