trendsetters: How Footasylum leveraged YouTube

to build brand awareness

By Milan Charles

Thursday, 19th of November 2020

Footasylum is a national highstreet-based streetwear and sportswear retailer, aimed predominantly at the youth and “urban” demographic. The retailer describes themselves as “trend-leading” with a “strong understanding of the core 16-24 year old customer base”, and they are quite right to claim as such.

Footasylum’s understanding of streetwear-conscious Gen Z consumers is evident through their Youtube channel where they share a regular stream of content featuring some of the most well-known YouTubers and influencers to emerge from the UK’s youth scene. Content ranges from quizzes and rap battles, reviewing and rating streetwear, dating shows, cooking competitions and lie detector tests – they even went as far as to produce their own 14-day reality series ‘Locked In’ which is believed to be the first of its kind on the platform.

Footasylum’s Youtube subscription numbers rose by an astronomical 2980% in 2019. Over the course of the 12 months, the channel earned its most engaged audience across all of Footasylum’s social channels, gaining funding from multiple global sportswear brands.

While JD Sports and other competitors appear to lean towards traditional talent and TV advertisements in an effort to attract shoppers, Footasylum seems to have tapped directly into the culture, drafting in the most influential content creators whose highly engaged audiences follow them wherever they go.

Footasylum understands meme culture. This is proven by them not simply utilising existing memes but by producing memeable content themselves that naturally goes viral. June 2019 saw the launch of Footasylum dating show ‘Does the Shoe Fit?’, the channel’s most successful series to date. Season 3 starred YouTubers Chunks and Yung Filly, Love Island-er Jordan Hames and Rapper Konan from rap duo Krept and Konan, who drew in an additional collective of over 4 million followers from Instagram. The series saw countless moments of virality, namely the infamous “Who’s Jordan again?” video from the season finale which sees Jordan Hames pied by one of the show’s contestants. 

These viral moments are often shared to social hubs within the culture such as GRM Daily, Link UP TV and Wall Of Comedy, reaching a further collective of over 3.6 million followers outside of their YouTube audience. 

Footasylum’s Youtube channel currently holds over 700,000 subscribers and it is expected to leverage on this digital success, especially during the Covid-19 crisis which has forced consumers to migrate to online shopping. During a time when it is crucial to keep customers engaged, Footasylum has proven that Youtube is a prosperous avenue to follow.