For its first installment of a larger brand refresh, Converse will launch a celeb-fueled video series on Twitter on Tuesday geared toward the Gen Z audience.
The series was inspired by the casual, off-the-cuff format of public access TV in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Each episode has a celebrity host who will invite their friends along — a mix of artists, activists and innovators — to help reflect on matters they find important. (Brand-centric topics will be avoided, though all guests will, of course, be wearing Converse.) Miley Cyrus and Maisie Williams (of “Game of Thrones”) host the first two episodes.
Maisie Williams and Amandla Stenberg on Converse’s “Public Access” series
Along with touching on animal rights, Cyrus’s episode will highlight older women who harness a so-called “youthful spirit,” like the veteran circus stunt performer Carla Wallenda and a 66-year-old pole dancing champion named Greta Pontarelli. The younger generation will be represented by the likes of her sister Noah, the rapper Aminé and the comedian Brandon Wardell.
Maisie Williams, for her part, will bring along the buzzy female actresses Millie Bobby Brown and Amandla Stenberg to discuss the struggles of working in Hollywood at a young age, as well as the much-lauded 17-year-old chef Flynn McGarry.
A third episode is in the works; Converse couldn’t confirm the host.
Miley Cyrus on Converse’s new “Public Access” series
“We’re highlighting individuals who challenge the status quo,” said Khobi Brooklyn, Converse’s global vp of communications, of the episodes’ hosts and their guests. She added that neither Cyrus nor Williams followed a script or prescribed format for their episodes.
“Hosting on Twitter allows both logged-in and logged-out users to tune in and adds the element of real-time conversation and reaction to the mix,” she said. “We stand for youth and giving youth a voice, and that’s exactly what this format will do.” The show will also be hosted on YouTube.
The rapper Aminé (left) and friends on Converse’s new “Public Access” series
Other brands have also taken note of this trend in recent months: Dove, for instance, launched a new video series in May with Shonda Rhimes, while Hollister has teamed up with AwesomenessTV on a branded reality web series.
However, the jury’s still out on whether or not this investment into video will really pay off for fashion and beauty brands — functioning not just as entertainment, but also as a means of driving customers to purchase their product.
Converse would not comment on any of its own financial goals for the new series or what else the brand refresh might entail, but said: “We hope people like what they see and want to come back for more.”