Aerosoles ads aim to evolve image

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Getting into step for the spring 2001 fashion season, Aerosoles breaks six new ad executions in a $2 million print effort in March women's magazines, including Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Lucky, Glamour, Self, Marie Claire and InStyle.

"It's a new image breaking for the brand, and all part of the same plan," said Lisa Ellner, account director and partner at Aerosole's agency, Gotham, New York.

The ads are new executions of an effort that began late last year, but the buy, 36 pages, represents a 300% increase over ad pages bought in December through May of last year.

The jump goes to support Aerosoles' new, modernized look, revamped streamlined logo and younger target audience. "Let yourself go," reads the company's new tagline. Gotham won the account in July; it had previously been handled in-house.

"The ads that Gotham created for us focus on the product, but they give us a real glimpse of who Aerosoles' new target customer really is," said Kimberley Grayson, senior VP-marketing at Aerosoles, a privately held company with 75 retail stores in the U.S. and 50 outside the country. "Our campaign is in celebration of empowered women and their life situations-and a woman's love affair with shoes. The edgy taglines are fun and celebrate what we're all about-comfort and a sense of style."


The ads feature spring footwear fashions, focusing on warm-weather sandals accompanied by provocative taglines such as "Cheaper than therapy."

"I think the most successful execution is `Rebel with a pedicure,' which shows some attitude and indulgence. We're telling women that with what you choose to wear, you can enhance a different part of your character," said Lynn Giordano, chief creative officer at Gotham. "The overall brand line-`Let yourself go'-is just acknowledging the fact that indulgence, women and shoes go hand in hand. We tried to tell people

in fun, provocative ways that

fashion and comfort can work together."

Products shown in the March ads are shipping to distributors now, with an approximate price point from $30 to $60. The campaign focuses on print and outdoor advertising rather than broadcast. But Ms. Grayson said that budget wasn't the only consideration.

"Through our research, we found that our target customer is focusing her attention in magazines, so we're responding to that," she said. "We've updated old favorites with fresh colors, fabrics and patterns, and the result is surprising and new. We're still keeping in mind our older customer, but we're thinking of our younger, more style-savvy customers, too."

To keep up with the label-conscious consumer, Aerosoles has also introduced a signature "A" patterned fabric, along the lines of upscale logo designers such as Prada and Gucci. The fabric is incorporated into a new style of shoes that partner with the company's new logo. M


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