Looks like we haven’t been paying close enough attention. Turns out, Zappos’s signature shoe box isn’t a shoe box at all. From June 1, the online retailer will be shipping a number of shoes in a limited-edition white box that encourages recipients to reuse it in new, inventive ways. Don’t worry if you’re not feeling particularly inspired that day: Zappos emblazoned the inside of each box with pre-printed templates that can be cut, folded and assembled into myriad items, including a smartphone holder, a children’s shoe sizer, a geometric planter (or mini-storage bin), and a three-dimensional llama. Through its #ImNotaBox campaign, Zappos says it wants its customers to not only channel their creativity in unique ways but also “literally think outside the box.”
OUTSIDE THE BOX
To underscore its point further, Zappos teamed up with creative agency Variable to create Box Home, a short film about a young boy who uses different household materials to construct a makeshift shelter for a homeless stranger.
“The Zappos box is our way of being there for our customers, wherever they are in life, as we provide them with the things they need and love,” Kelly Smith of Zappos Think, an in-house “experiential campaign” team, said in a statement. “Not only do we want customers to know we genuinely care about their needs, but we also hope to inspire people to become the best version of themselves and to see the world with a new perspective. We want people in the end to say, ‘I’m not a box.’”
By suggesting alternative uses for its boxes, Zappos is also nipping in the bud the growing problem of cardboard waste from online shopping. After all, thinking “green” doesn’t have to be a chore. In Zappos’s world, reusing and repurposing is an opportunity to bring out your inner child and entrepreneurial spirit.
“It’s time to unleash your creativity and uniqueness for good and reintroduce it to the world,” the retailer writes on its website.
Like artist Aaron Kramer once said, trash only means a failure of the imagination.