As part of a bold advertising stunt during Berlin’s July 7th through 9th Premium Fashion Week, German DIY brand Hornbach stuck a swimming pool in a giant pair of sneakers. Collaborating with German shoe store “43halb,” Hornbach’s “Sneaker Pool” was over eight feet tall, 16 feet wide, and weighed almost a ton. The massive kicks were modeled after the iconic Adidas ZX 10000s, with great attention given to replicating every detail. White carpeting mimicked the soft fabric of the shoe uppers, while wire mesh filled in for the sneakers’ webbed material. Stretches of blue tile made up the detailing at the back of the heel, and artificial grass rugs were laid under gray rubber sheets to complete the sides.
The project fit with the Home and Garden store’s mission to “encourage people to be as creative as possible, develop their own DIY projects, and set themselves no limits.” The project was especially impressive “because the shoe, including the pool, is made entirely of materials that are available from Hornbach,” the company explained in a press release.
“With the help of assembly instructions, anyone could build furniture at home,” it continued. “With the Sneaker Pool, Hornbach is taking a step into the sneaker scene.”
While that might seem like a strange direction for a hardware chain to take, off-the-wall advertising is the norm for Hornbach. “Sneakers and pool don’t go together thematically? We say: Of course it fits! Crazy projects are in our DNA! With the Hornbach Sneaker Pool, we show how far the current love of sneakers can go.”
Earlier this year, the DIY brand teamed up with production agency Heimat on a zany two-minute commercial featuring neglected yard plants that abandoned their native soil to take a raucous joy ride to Hornbach. On the way, they run over garbage cans, compete in streetcar races, and get ticketed by a police officer.
“There’s a bit of anarchy,” Heimat founder Guido Heffels says of the brand’s approach to advertising. “A bit of giving people a good feeling whenever they create, and whatever they work on.”
The company is no stranger to collabs either, having most recently worked with Chinese visual artist Ai Weiwei, “who developed a complete work of art from DIY materials to recreate at home.” Before that, they worked with “Danish designer Sigurd Larsen and Japanese architect Yo Shimada [to design] pieces of furniture purely from DIY materials.”
In addition to working with shoe store 43halb, the hardware brand also enlisted production company Neulant van Exel for help in assembling the enormous footwear fixture. The giant Sneaker Pool was unveiled at an exclusive launch event, garnering comments that ranged from “Sensational!” to “Kinda bizarre” to “Just amazing!” At least a few guests were allowed to try out the pool during the gala.
During the event, the company explained, “The Hornbach Sneaker Pool is a tongue-in-cheek reminder that the outdoor pool season is in full swing and that anything is possible with the wide pool range from Hornbach.”
They added, “For Hornbach, sneakers and DIY are both means of creative self-expression. This playful and colossal project merges the two outlets.”