Hoka’s Murmuration flies High!

Published: June 15, 2023

min read

Hoka is launching its first and largest (so far) global integrated marketing campaign, after crossing $1 billion in sales.

One year after its first push, Hoka is back again, with a new iteration on their same “Fly, Human, Fly” push, rolling out a new tag line and their very first global campaign. This time around, they have used a different creative agency, Anomaly Los Angeles. The first is a 60-second commercial by the Deckers Brands-owned footwear marketer – this is the first of a series of ads.

The ad is called “Murmuration,” and it features different runners, hikers and walkers – different kinds, different ages, and different ethnicities - in what can only be called a whimsical trip through the sky. It ends with a configuration that forms the Hoka bird logo, with “Big Bird” by Eddie Floyd playing in the background right through. The concept is based on murmuration, a flocking behavior seen in birds like starlings. This 60-second anthem spot reinforces the idea that distance runners and casual walkers feel like they are actually flying together in Hoka shoes.

Two more product-focused videos will air later this summer. One is for the Mach X performance running shoe and the other, for an eco-conscious Anacapa 2 GTX hiking boot.

This campaign will air in more than 30 countries and will include a media mix of connected TV, digital video and paid social (TikTok, Meta and SnapChat). There will also be several national key city out-of-home takeovers with 3D elements. This is their largest integrated brand campaign to date.

Hoka was founded 14 years ago and was acquired by Deckers in 2012. The brand continues to grow globally – and their fastest-growing cohort is Gen Z.

Last year Hoka crossed the $1 billion brand threshold and has reported a 40% increase in quarterly sales now. The brand is working on creating increased awareness.

A 60-second anthem spot uses striking visuals to reinforce the notion that distance runners and casual walkers feel like they are flying together in Hokas.

Marketing Metaphor

Murmuration is something that has fascinated people across the world. It is the amazing phenomenon, when hundreds and even thousands of birds, usually starlings, fly together, whirling and swirling in a constantly changing pattern. It appears to the onlookers as if they are all connected together. They can twist and turn and change direction instantaneously.

Taking this amazing concept to the ad push, the clever makes of this ad show many runners and walkers together – flying through the sky, in this most wonderful commercial entitled Murmuration.

Scientists see Murmuration as something that can be explained by the laws of physics. They say that each tiny bird is connected to the others so strongly, so when one bird turns, the others also start to follow suit. The connection between all the flying humans is Hokas. And they all arrange themselves as the Hoka logo at the end of the spot.

Considering this is run more as an awareness campaign, this is a very clever concept. if you looked closely, the flying humans are of different age groups, genders and ethnicities as well. Connected together with Hokas. And considering the main demographic that the brand targets, is Gen Z – this is a winner. On many levels

The kicks are cool. The brand didn’t become a billion dollar business by doing nothing. Their products sell. Creating more awareness through a very unusual campaign is only going to increase its appeal among Gen Z, which will in turn, bring more of them to the brand.

Hoka is taking the spirit of Murmuration onto real life and extending the idea of community togetherness as well.

All in all, Murmuration is a brilliant metaphor used by Hoka!


Grace Wang

Grace is an advertising professional who keeps abreast of the latest and greatest in the marketing and advertising space. She is a traditionalist in lifestyle and modernist in her profession. Outside of marketing and advertising, she helps younger generation try and adapt traditional lifestyle for a healthy living.


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