Oh, Doc Martens. Memories of clove cigarettes, plaid bondage pants and sneaking out to Love and Rockets concerts come to mind just from typing the brand’s name. It is hard to believe the company behind the shoes and boots synonymous with punk rock and alternative hipsters is celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Although the days of Black Flag and the Buzzcocks may be long gone, Dr. Martens are here to stay – and the long-lasting brand is using social media marketing to celebrate this milestone while introducing the next generation of teenage cool kids to its line of products.
50.drmartens.com is a recently-launched website which promotes the anniversary, but on first glance, you wouldn’t know it! It looks more like a too-hip-for-words music blog – but then that’s the whole point. The company has released a CD as part of the birthday festivities, featuring 10 bands doing 10 covers of cult classic songs. The Ravonettes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Duke Spirit are a few of the bands on the compilation. They tackle beloved tracks by acts like Jeff Buckley, Sham 69 and The Runaways. As party favors, Dr. Martens is giving out free MP3s of selected songs on the album. The YouTube-centric site also has videos for most of the songs as well as an awesome history of Dr. Martens in a mini-movie. Articles on up-and-coming bands and style trends also are featured on the site to give it a magazine flavor that transcends the normal product website. Still, the boots and shoes remain the stars of the site, as each section wisely plugs the products worn by the artists on the CD.
Dr. Martens 50 Facebook Page, the cross-promotional hub for the celebration, not only plugs the CD but offers fans a chance to win boots featured in the music videos. And a designated YouTube channel has been set up for the brand, while the company’s Twitter account provides late-breaking news of Dr. Martens events and giveaways.
Being from an, ahem, certain generation, we at Brandsplat applaud Dr. Martens for bridging the gap between the old scene that put it on the map and the new media that will keep it in the hearts of angsty youth for decades to come.