Dr. Martens:
Tough as you

Launching a global marketing campaign. 'Tough as you' breaks down conventional norms to bring the Dr. Martens brand to the world.

User testing

Bringing a global brand campaign to life.

In 2020, I played a role within the global creative team at Dr. Martens launching the Brand Campaign Tough As You; a series of stories focusing on the resilience of a selection of Dr. Martens brand custodians from around the world. The campaign concept was created by the external agency We Are Social and was brought to life by myself and the in-house team at Dr.Martens.
AirWair International (Dr. Martens)
My Role
Retail Concept Design, Digital Design, Guideline Development and Creative Design Strategy.
Design tools (Adobe Suite), Consumer Research, Stakeholder Interviews and Asset Development.
2020 - 2021

Campaign stories

We Are Social supplied us with various stories of resilience from a wide range of high profile individuals. We short-listed these candidates and explored their stories in greater detail to better drive the campaign narrative.

We landed on four key individuals and groups; Bob Vylan, a grime/punk artist. Lotte Van-Eijk, a body positive model. The Naked Giants, a grunge band from Seattle, and Avie Acosta, a non-binary catwalk model.

The challenge

We based themes around each of the personalities and allocated them a specific shoe from the original Dr. Martens range. All video and photography content was produced by the in-house teams at We Are Social, so our challenge was to work in tandem to create a range of marketing collateral and guidelines to showcase best practice execution for all regions around the world.

With the use of placeholder imagery, we established a set of wireframes for digital and social platforms and created 3D renders of store elevations for both wholesale accounts and domestic stores. We established a logo, a selection of embellishments and a set of rules which became the foundations for the branding guidelines.
Logo development
Design embellishments
Creative assets
Digital wireframes
Selection of wireframes
Print layouts
Print Layout examples
Campaign guidelines


Once the assets had been handed over to us, things really started to come to life. We swapped out placeholder assets and started to refine the outputs across all consumer touch points to take the campaign to launch.

We worked with various internal and external teams and created a range of different marketing techniques on a variety of different platforms such as digital, social, retail and out-of-home advertising.

Digital output

Digital platforms serve as the most important touch point for any successful campaign. We treated these spaces as our first point of contact between the consumer and the brand and as such, they needed to be as impactful as possible.

For the first month of Tough As You, we took over the Dr. Martens homepage with a full landing page featuring all of our contributors. Each story takes the user to a separate feature page for that contributor with a focus on them and their story of resilience.

Retail activations

Retail and wholesale activations was the area in which I had the highest level of creative contribution and strategic input. From these concepts, we worked with external agencies to action the design blueprint as best possible throughout the various regions around the world.

As all stores are slightly different, I created top level concepts for the regions to follow as best they could. I advised on materials and helped to oversee the elevations created by the external partners. We created guidelines for the teams, and signed-off on external elevations within wholesalers.

DFROST are an agency based in Germany and have created this fantastic Tough As You elevation in a large department store in Hamburg, Germany.

Initial drawings of these concepts are sent over to head office, where they are signed off by myself and the wider teams.

Out of home

In order to maximise the campaign message, we created a fleet of out-of-home graphics which spanned across a wide range of mediums. We launched all banners at the same time in order to keep costs down and targeted different areas with a different contributor to drive traffic to the Dr. Martens Website.

Tough As 2020

2020 proved to be tougher than ever for everyone. With our Tough as You campaign in mid-flight, we took to the loyal Doc’s community to ask for stories of resilience to act as additional content on our Tough as You landing page.

These were added to a Tough as 2020 feed which we located at the footer of our landing page. We also used the content on our social platforms to drive consumer traffic to the website.