For the first time in its 122-year history, Saucony is running a Super Bowl ad. And it’s a simple one.
The 30-second spot opens with a view of an empty gym filled with abandoned sneakers.
“What if the shoes we threw away, actually went away?” a female narrator asks.
Slowly, the sneakers begin to float up into the air, as the narrator breaks the news that the Waltham-based company is developing its first biodegradable shoe.
“It’s one small step towards reducing our footprint, for good,” she adds.
The ad will run on FOX’s streaming services, so those watching the traditional TV broadcast won’t see it. The company declined to disclose how much the commercial cost.
The high-profile announcement is part of Saucony’s “Run for Good” campaign and comes amid similar efforts by other athletic shoe companies to reduce their environmental footprints. For example, Reebok recently announced a forthcoming line of plant-based shoes.
In a press release Thursday, Saucony said their biodegradable shoe will be made from “natural materials and renewable resources” and that the “goal” is to not use any plastics, bio-plastics, or plastic derivatives.
The company also noted that it will use somewhat of a throwback manufacturing process, which includes fewer steps, less electricity, and no petroleum-based glues or threads. As a result, the shoe will be stitched together using a process similar to the one Saucony used when it first began in the late-1800s.
According to a company spokeswoman, the biodegradable shoe won’t be available until the end of this year, “at the earliest.”
Saucony, which has made a habit of partnering with other local brands, worked with two Boston-based companies on the commercial: the ad agency Arnold Worldwide and the visual effects company Brickyard.
The company noted that no shoes were wasted during the production of the ad. The spot mostly used computer-generated images, or CGI. And all of the real shoes that were used in the commercial were donated to the Boston Rescue Mission, a local homeless shelter.
“We think constantly about the impact our products have on our consumers,” Shawn Hoy, the company’s vice president of global product, said in a statement.
“Now, we are focusing on our impact on the planet,” Hoy said. “As an industry, we must do better. As a brand, we must do better. This project is a critical first step in our journey to do better and be better.”