The Generic Man lights up for fashion followers

Notes from the Mediascape: The hip LA-based footwear brand The Generic Man hopes its new short film will cross platforms and build buzz well beyond the wider web world.

The shoes may appear only briefly, but the brand is written all over it.

Tokyo/Glow is a new short film commissioned by LA-based footwear company The Generic Man. It features the most generic of men, the ‘Walk’ man of traffic-light fame, coming to life and making his way through Tokyo streets. Only two minutes long, the film is already generating viral momentum in the US, where it launched last week. It will come to Canada this spring as an interstitial on CTV channel Bravo.

While the product is featured prominently for only a few seconds, Tokyo/Glow was created as a promotional effort for The Generic Man, who commissioned the film.

Created by LA-based filmmakers Citizen Jones and Toronto production house Industry Films, the goal behind the project was to create an online promotional vehicle that would not only generate buzz for the brand online, but be high-quality enough to cross over into other broadcast mediums, Jonas Bell Pasht, producer, Citizen Jones, tells MiC.

‘We really wanted to do something that was a real, hybrid, cross-platform project, something that could be film-festival worthy, something that could be on TV and, most importantly, something that could be disseminated and distributed widely across the internet,’ he says, adding that it was mastered in HD so that large-screen viewing would be possible.

The film first appeared on Conde Nast’s last week, the Generic Man website, and on YouTube. Promotional efforts were handled by New York-based PR firm Bradbury Lewis and the two prodcos. The goal was to seed it in the fashion blogosphere and hope that it spread, explains Bell Pasht.

‘In this case our strategy paid off rather quickly,’ he explains. ‘Within a few days, over 50,000 people – and growing rapidly – had viewed the film, and it had shown up on hundreds of blogs in all corners of the world. There was no distinction in this case between different territories. The aim was to go global right off the bat.’

The brand was perfectly okay with not being identified in the film; in fact, as the name of the company indicates, it was very much the point, he says.

‘The Generic Man favour a ‘brand-less’ product. They don’t believe in logos or blatant branding in their products, and wanted to avoid these trappings in this spot. ‘They were perfectly happy for people to view it without noticing the branding at all.’