Atlanta’s DJ Mars recently teamed with New Balance for their “Where Are You Running to Next” campaign, however rather than just acting as a spokesman, he actually hit the boardroom as an Executive Producer for the visionary project. As an official DJ for Outkast and Keri Hilson, and party aficionado for the likes of Diddy, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Jermaine Dupri, Mars is no stranger to the spotlight. So who better to seek like-minded talent for the classic New Balance brand?
We asked DJ Mars to give us a little insight on how he approached producing the run of short films, and why he selected the variety of personalities like Raekwon, Clinton Sparks, Don Cannon and Rich Medina to represent the brand so far.
How do you feel that the “Where Are You Running to Next” campaign ties in to your daily life?
DJ Mars: The campaign actually began with me documenting how I was always running, whether it was to rehearsal, picking my son up from school, walking my dog or spinning at a club. I’ve been blessed to travel throughout the world doing what I love, and because I’m in a different city almost every day that question has become a way of life within my circle.
How did you go about the selection process for the subjects of your short films?
DJ Mars: That was the easiest part because I’m a huge fan of the DJ culture, so I just began with a few of my favorite contemporary DJs who I knew loved New Balance.
What do you feel your experience as a DJ has added to your job in the marketing world?
DJ Mars: Part of my job as a DJ to know how to move the crowd, and marketing is just an extension of that philosophy, only the crowd that you have to move is much bigger of course. My job has taken me to every continent, with the exception of Antarctica, so I see things through a global lens.
I think the trick is to help your target market share in what is possible from a global perspective – especially when it comes to something like sneakers. I’m a huge sneaker head too, so I have a great appreciation for kicks that you may never see in the United States.
What is special about the evolution of New Balance?
DJ Mars: As a kid, New Balance was that shoe that I looked up to and had to have a pair of because all the big willies from DC and New York kept a pair of 993s, 574s or 576s – so at one point, depending on where you lived, NBs became synonymous with Hip Hop culture.
That feeling actually never goes away, so the evolution is kind of retro in a sense. In those days, Hip Hop style was crispy and your suede had to be fresh! Plus, I’m from Massachusetts [home of New Balance] so you know…
Watch the New Balance “Where Are You Running to Next?” short film series below!
For more information on the New Balance “Where Are You Running to Next?” campaign, visit their site at NewBalance.com