Shoe brand Sanuk turns to Jimmy Kimmel show to help push brand message




Footwear brand Sanuk promoted its ‘never uncomfortable’ shoes on Jimmy Kimmel Live! earlier this week with a comedic stunt featuring Kimmel’s ‘Cousin Sal.’


The brand feature was the company’s attempt to appeal to consumers in a more organic and humorous way instead of relying on a traditional TV spot.


The promotion featured Cousin Sal grabbing people off the street and asking them to try on Sanuk shoes before standing in a ‘Circle of Comfort.’


Guests were then bombarded with uncomfortable situations, such as having a stranger spoon them or having someone breathe onion breath in their face. The overall message was that no matter how uncomfortable a situation, Sanuk shoes will always keep you comfortable.


Orchestrated in partnership with agency Ignited, the campaign was meant to help the shoe brand reach a wider audience that goes beyond its core California surfer base.


Eric Springer, chief creative officer at Ignited, told The Drum: “The idea behind ‘Circle of Comfort’ is to make the uncomfortable comfortable because you are wearing Sanuks. We thought who better to make people uncomfortable than Jimmy Kimmel’s Cousin Sal. We worked with writers from the show to make the integration authentic to the brand and to the show. We wanted the integration to feel like natural content from the show.”

He added that they “made a shoestring budget spend feel like a $2m media buy.”


Earlier this month, Sanuk rolled out a global campaign called ‘Always Sanuk’ that leverages platforms including Pandora and Spotify and includes on-site activations at Wanderlust Festivals, the Portland Boulder Rally, and others.