This got the attention of the blogosphere as well as of traditional media (lovely Courtney obviously had something to say), and lit up a conversation that culminated with Dr. Martens finally firing Saatchi & Saatchi (their ad agency).
The Daily Swarm has a full coverage of the facts.
This is, I think, a huge mistake for Dr. Martens.
I don’t want to discuss the creative idea (that I like) here, but let’s face it: how long since you heard something – anything – about Dr. Martens boots?
They still have a lot of awareness, but they’re definitely not today’s trend like Crocs, for example.
They had a chance to shake a fading brand, but chosed to close the discussion instead of riding it.
So what would I have done instead, you ask?
Well, I would have first blamed the agency for the leakage just to make lawyers happy. Then, I would fire up the discussion, saying that those ads (that – again – won’t ever be published by Dr. Martens) are nice and shouldn’t offend anybody. After all, those guys were really using those boots. This would of course boost even more conversation around this, focusing on something that is actually good for the brand (its link to the punk -rock generation).
Next steps would obviously depend on how the conversation would develop (I think you can’t control the conversation around your brand, you can just listen and take actions), but I can’t foresee anything bad coming out of it for Dr. Martens.