A recent collaborative campaign between footwear brand Palladium, fashion influencer Marcus Troy and retailer Little Burgundy, is shedding light on one Canadian community and its history with gentrification.
Little Burgundy, an area in Montreal, Quebec that was once home to jazz great Oscar Peterson and former Governor General Michëlle Jean, is the focal point of a video marketing campaign released this past fall by Palladium to highlight the brand’s Explorer series line.
“Burgundy definitely has a lot of history, a lot of culture behind it,” explains Troy, who narrates the video. “I think them wanting to highlight Burgundy was a good call. I wanted to approach it differently and have a different take on Burgundy and what Burgundy really is because Burgundy’s changing.”
Troy, who grew up near Burgundy, witnessed firsthand the effects many attempts at gentrification had on the area.
“Growing up in LaSalle, I wasn’t allowed to go to Burgundy,” shares Troy. “There was a lot of friction between the neighbourhoods so Burgundy has always had this rebellious place in my heart. It means that much to me now because we can just shoot and hang out in Little Burgundy, in the park and just be there and not have any problems. It definitely shows the evolution where we’ve come as a society.”
For Palladium, the idea behind releasing the video was to collaborate with someone with creative influence, as opposed to just taking the traditional route of throwing up a billboard to advertise a product. It is an example of a company trying to do more than just sell a product, but also telling an engaging story.
Scenes of youth hanging out at the local basketball court and walking the streets with Palladium Explorers on their feet underscore the brand’s position as a “city-proof boot” as company representative Oliver Haggiag describes it.
“You’re not wearing these boots to go for a hike in the woods,” Haggiag explains. “Whenever someone thinks about buying boots for the city, we want them to think Palladium.”
Haggiag says Troy, who has worked with the brand previously on a shoe released to celebrate the anniversary of cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants” on Nickelodeon, was a natural fit to be the voice for the campaign. Through his blog, www.marcustroy.com, Troy doesn’t just follow trends; he helps inspire them.
“He’s a huge influencer, he’s a huge part of this new culture, a blog culture,” says Haggiag.
Troy is exactly the type of person he speaks of in the video, a ‘savoir faire’ – defined as a person who takes tools that are available to him/her and makes the best of a situation.
“[A savoir faire is] someone who is a maverick, someone who is willing to push the boundaries, go beyond the call of duty to make things happen,” explains Troy. “Someone who doesn’t follow the rules per se, someone who is ambitious and someone who wants to take things to the next level always.”
“What it was like being a kid growing up in Little Burgundy. Being someone who didn’t necessarily have a voice. I wanted to share their voices in a different light and the product was the facilitator of that.”
His hope is that beyond just highlighting cool boots to wear, the project will speak to the city, and be a voice for the Little Burgundy community and its youth.
“I wanted to tell a different side of [Little Burgundy’s] story,” adds Troy. “What it was like being a kid growing up in Little Burgundy. Being someone who didn’t necessarily have a voice. I wanted to share their voices in a different light and the product was the facilitator of that.”
Haggiag says Palladium has more of these types of creative marketing endeavours on the way, with Toronto being the focus of the 2016 fall/winter campaign.
Photos & Video Supplied by Agence Zoï