Brazil InterVisions | The Havaianas Case
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The Havaianas Case

A brand which embodies Brazilian paths towards autonomy

The outstanding and assertive upwards pathway of a brand from basic to desirable : Havaianas, originally, a low income, cheap shoe.

A story started in 1962 as a purely functional rubber slipper, primarily addressing low income public. Good popularity as a mass-market brand until the early 90’s, when the brand faced critical declining sales. A bold, radical shift into a lifestyle, aspirational, fashionable yet democratic brand.

A new marketing strategy and a remarkable repositioning campaign:

  • By betting on and exploiting  Brazilian identity values to build brand new identity
  • By recruiting local celebrities to wear the shoes and adopt the brand
  • By  launching the brand abroad and gaining aspirational value in Brazil out of  its international success
  • By endlessly diversifying colors and patterns, in a spirit of ‘collection’ that constantly renews consumer experience and bond (association with designers)

As claimed in the brands’ base line (“Todo o mundo usa”), an essential outfit  for all social segments (“Everyone uses it”) around the world  (“All the world uses it”) who want to enjoy life in a comfortable, sensuous and informal way.

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Traditional Havaianas
Havaianas by Missoni
Celebrities wearing Havaianas in Paris
Heart of Brazilian: The use of the Brazilian flag and brazilian style – an international signature and a clever reference to Brazilian patriotism
Havaianas campaign in NY: more than a shoe, a lifestyle

A change made possible by the evolution of Brazilian society itself. Havaianas, the ambassador of a newly valorized ideal vision of Brazil:

New flexibility of hierarchical roles, that opens a new era of playing with codes. Valorization of social and ethnic hybridation, conveying the ideal of a democratic country without racial and social prejudices (one country for all). A brand that succeeded to capture and stage in a modern way the very heart of Brazilian identity values. The Havaianas Style: easiness, dynamism, pleasure, tolerance,  freedom of movement, diversity, emotionality, conviviality,  and sensuality.

A mythical  icon of Brazilianness abroad : ‘always summer’ warmth, colorful and cheerful people, joy of life, vitality, sensuality. The use of the Brazilian flag: an international signature and a clever reference to Brazilian patriotism.

Havaianas campaign in NY: in the streets

Semiotic analysis of Havaianas’ flagship

Simplicity and accentuated horizontality of the entrance through apparent absence of a door: a free way into an open public space, where everything can happen: conviviality, informality, easiness at improvisation, abolishment of hierarchy.
An entrance  that works as a multi-sensorial transformation : a passage to a ‘magical’ bright space, lowered in relation to street, that reflects the brand’s spirit and its ability to surprise.

Lightness, freedom and transparence inside :

  • Glass walls and  sand colored floor
  • Modularity and asymmetry of spotlights and shadows
  • Predominance of natural materials, such as wood and stone
  • Presence of exotic nature covering the wall
  • Entry hall offering panoramic view of the surrounding
  • Intense lighting as a sunny daylight

An appearance of  non-built space, an airy ambience which values ​​the blurring of boundaries, and enhances  the feeling of a  spontaneous vivid outdoor situation of always summer (street- beach surroundings).

Modularity in the composition combined with the open space induces visitors to explore the surroundings with a walkway throughout the diverse ‘corners’ of the store, and a journey throughout the story of the brand:

  • The market place : a reference to brand’s origins and an idealized representation of Brazilian tolerance and democracy. Proud of brand’s history and modest roots. Informality, casualness and originality in displaying the product.
  • Exports’ pride with exports collection displayed in a container…And exports successes exhibited in a glass ‘magical’ tube.
  • Brand’s new creativity at the customization corner. Customization  area in a lower floor level, which glamour is outlined  through special illumination of the stair ways. Staged playfulness and experimentation with the rounding acryl  element. A new vision of value : creativity and personal expression more than the product itself.
  • The rainbow wall. Luminous colorful Havaianas displayed in a continuous spectrum of colors at the back rear , contrasting with the white wall with resemblance of a rainbow.

Rainbow as a powerful symbol of Generosity and richness of Brazilian nature and culture, openness to diversity and tolerance. Rainbow is also a sign for a new era of hope or of social change → the Brand pathway