Allbirds’ newest campaign has a nice wing to it

allbirds marketing campaign

So far, most of the posts in this series have centered around a different socially responsible marketing campaign. The issues exposed in each have been pretty mainstream — like feminism, equality, toxic masculinity, and ethical meat consumption.

The campaign for this week, while centered on a broader topic that most people are aware of (environmentalism), narrows the focus to one specific issue — one that most people might learn about for the first time when they see this ad.

Campaigns like Nike’s latest piggyback on the feminist movement already have an audience. The brands behind campaigns like these hope that the ads will help them earn the support of folks who back the cause. That’s why so many articles about the inherent rift between activism and Capitalism have popped up recently. And with Earth Day coming up, we can expect brands to jump on environmental issues in their marketing.

Allbirds took this to new heights — literally, the subject of the campaign flies every day. Announced in the New York Times and in partnership with the National Audubon Society, Allbirds is rolling out five shoes that correspond to five different threatened North American bird species.


The NYT Brand Studio published a beautiful page for this release, in which the focus is truly on these birds and the issue at hand. The Allbirds name doesn’t even make an appearance in the copy until the very bottom, which is a considerable scroll-down.

In the paragraphs before they mention the shoes, Allbirds suggests taking advantage of the Audubon app and advises readers to learn how they can help the birds in their local ecosystem. By the time readers see their message about corporate responsibility, it’s hard to feel cynical about their intentions.

Now more than ever, it’s important for brands to make things that have a positive impact on the world. Companies have the ability to protect the environment on a larger scale, making the world a more comfortable place for birds and humans alike.

The choice to launch the campaign on the NYT’s site at the top of this week is clever. The campaign will reach a broader audience than if they launched on their own website. It also denotes a more sophisticated and educational understanding of the cause and their partnership.

This campaign is already looking successful. One color of the men’s shoe has completely sold out, as have several sizes on the women’s page.

Allbirds took a different approach with their latest ad. In highlighting an issue that isn’t #trending, and pledging the proceeds to the cause, they take ethical consumerism to a new level.

Why this ad works, in an eggshell:

  • It’s a multisensory experience. Click the audio button and the sweet, soothing sound of birds in the wild enter into the reader’s eardrums. Even better, as you scroll down and read about the different birds, the chirping changes to reflect the little hero on the page. It really feels like you are forming an emotional connection with the little creatures when you hear them individually.
  • The visuals on this page sway ever so slightly. If the reader has already opted in for the bird sounds, then the effect works to create an even more soothing visual experience. Plus, the reader doesn’t have to feel overwhelmed by more complicated visual imagery, such as video. The most important part of this page is the information in the copy.
  • And speaking of copy, Allbirds and the Audubon Society do an excellent job of educating the reader. They go from the broader implications of endangered birds, to the unique stories of each bird, to concrete statistics. For instance: “The Scarlet Tanager is predicted to lose 94 percent of its summer range.” The statistics drive the issue home.

Hero image from Allbirds.