From dad sneakers to orthopedic sandals, “ugly” shoes have been prowling the runways for multiple seasons.┬áChunky clog maker Crocs capitalized on the trend to sidle its way to the top.

First, the brand paired up with luxe labels like Balenciaga and anti-pop pop stars like Post Malone to promote haute couture crocs. Then, to gain real street cred, Crocs looked to Social Native, a content platform that supplied the brand with young, digitally-native creators. Since last year, they’ve rolled out 15 UGC campaigns and generated 225 images and videos.

The brand has relied on visuals, specifically video, to get a digital leg up before. Last year, it laced ambassador Drew Barrymore into a 30-second musical spot that scored almost a million views on YouTube, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Activewear. But the sole of the Gifted brand’s strategy likely rests in user-generated content, which helped it climb fourteen spots in a recent survey. Going forward, Crocs can continue to look to the streets for powerful promotions, especially since it’s more the consumer than the model that kicks off trends these days. One thing is for sure: the brand is far from Croc bottom.

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