Humanizing product innovation through a sensorial brand experience

Hyperfeel is the byproduct of years of Nike’s innovation work at the intersection of performance, technology and design. A shoe truly created to give runners the most sensorial, connected experience between their foot and the earth.

But in order to make this product launch a success, we needed to show runners why the connection between their foot and the earth was so important in the first place.

The mind / body connection

The soles of our feet have thousands of sense receptors that trigger neurological activity. We soon realized that if we could get people to appreciate how their feet impact their mental state while running, we’d be able to truly create an appreciation for this powerful new innovation.

Out of our comfort zone

In order to help consumers to experience this product at its most effective, we were going to need to do something to pull them out of their everyday mindset. With a goal to expose this product to not just die-hard runners, but everyday athletes as well, we created a 4-day immersive experience, inviting participants to experience their feet like never before.

In the heart of New York’s Meatpacking District during Fashion Week, we opened a 5,000 sq. ft. freestanding structure that led guests into a sensorial labyrinth with only their feet to guide them.

An immersive collision of sight, sound, and touch

At entry, guests removed their shoes and were outfitted with neuro-headsets that monitored their brainwaves as they explored the space. As they entered the pitch black environment, they soon learned that they’d need to use their feet as their eyes to get to the other side. Under their feet they found the ground transition from grass to asphalt to rubber to wet sand and more. As they explored the space with their feet, they knew they were heading in the right direction when the texture below them changed. Data was captured in real-time while ambient audio played in their headsets.

Visualizing the Mind

As guests emerged on the other side of the labyrinth, their neuro-activity was downloaded in real-time and processed through a visualization algorithm that depicted their brainwaves onto a large-scale digital mandala. Each color in the mandala represented a different texture from the participant’s experience, along with their corresponding brain activity.

In so doing, each person began to understand the deep connection between their feet and their mind, and ultimately, how a sensorial running shoe can truly impact their mental state. Some runners realized they are the most relaxed when feeling their feet on grass, but they run on hard asphalt every day. Insights like these helped participants augment their running routines and locations – giving them more understanding of their own sensory world.

1,000+ attendees
100% product sell through

Creating an Artifact

As consumers finished their journey they were taken into a product try-on area where limited edition Hyperfeels were available for purchase. In addition, each participant was provided with a printed poster of their mandala and sent a digital version of the data-visualization to share online.

Sharing the message

The Art + Science of Feeling introduced Nike’s latest breakthrough product in an experience as pioneering as the product itself, sparking social shares across guests’ and Nike’s social channels and garnering media coverage in major news outlets around the globe.