Nike Launches AR Colouring Book to Market New Footwear

The "Create with Air Max" zine launched in Japan and aims to replace pop-up activations.

Need to Know

  • “Create with Air Max”, a 56-page magazine, features customizable images of Nike shoes that come to life using augmented-reality smartphone tech.
  • Nike has handed out 1,000 copies of the magazine produced with creative agency AKQA.
  • The AR marketing campaign is an effort by Nike to engage customers who are mostly confined to their homes, unable to interact with traditional activations or pop-ups.


As brands are looking to engage consumers remotely in meaningful ways due to restrictions on in-person interactions, Nike has partnered with creative agency AKQA to bring sneakerheads’ designs to life in augmented reality form.

Nike’s new “Create with Air Max” zine lets people color in pairs of Nike shoes, then, using an AR tool on their smartphone, users can see their custom kicks hovering in the air. Customized shoes can then be shared as brief animations on social media.

The “Create with Air Max” campaign, launched in Japan with the distribution of 1,000 magazines, is Nike’s second partnership with AKQA, which, in the spring, launched an AR app that showed clouds in the shape of the Nike Air Max 2090. Both campaigns are attempts by Nike to maintain customer engagement in the COVID-19 era when in-person shopping and physical interactive activations are less of a possibility.

Nike is no stranger to experimenting with new ideas to embrace the new normal. The retailer’s new concept store, Nike Rise, is a digital-focused storefront that focuses on app integrations and new technologies that connect shoppers to Nike’s products in new ways.

Augmented reality technology has seen a marked uptick in use among consumer brands during the pandemic—largely, as try-on technology: Gucci, L’Oreal, and ASOS are among those using AR to maintain customer engagement and boost digital conversions.