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Hip footwear marketer Airwalk will introduce a new casual line this fall backed by a campaign that envisions life in the year 2050.The effort is part of Airwalk's plan to boost 1997 marketing expenditures 17% to $40 million. Airwalk will boost marketing expenditures 17% to $40 million in 1997 and launch this fall a new casual footwear line for 16-to-24 year-olds, supported by an ad campaign that envisions life in 2050 A.D.

Airwalk which posted $230 million in sales last year and is aiming for $300 million this year. believing that more of its 8-to-24 year-old target will round out their shoe closets with casual footwear. The cool casual counterpoint to prevailing pure sport fashion, Airwalk is borrowing the 'brown shoe' look, the once-hot style that ate into athletic footwear sales earlier this decade, for its new line. To get there, it's relying on a "brown shoe" look that counters the athletic footwear trend. The new shoes will sell at a higher price and feature cleaner, more modest designs than the company's retro and ultra-funky active shoes.

REACHING COLLEGE-BOUND"We've done a great job of reaching the 13-to-16-year-olds," said Greg Woodman, Airwalk VP-advertising and sales. "But the college-bound crowd we want to concentrate on this year wants a purer casual shoe, with certain technical attributes," like such as durability and water-proofing.

The shoes which bare bear such names as The Twister and The Trenchland; they will hit retail during the back-to-school selling season. Airwalk's fall brand advertising campaign showcases the new product as well as other active casual footwear.

The "2050 A.D." campaign, created by Lambesis, San Diego, imagines depicts a sleek, homogenized future where Airwalk sneakers are the sole mark of individuality. One humorous spot on the boards shows a young man squishing a cockroach with his Airwalks after failing to exterminate it with high-tech weapons.

Airwalk will stick with its traditional media plan, running ads in pop culture and teen magazines and on ESPN, MTV and spot TV.

Industry observers said the new line is aimed at retaining the marketer's current customer base. anticipates changes in the loyal consumers that have driven the brand to prominence in recent years.

"Those teens are now moving into college and see themselves differently," said Tom Sosnowski, news editor at Footwear News. "As they mature, they need a more mature shoe."Before "2050 A.D." breaks, Airwalk will bring its current "International vigor" campaign to TV in March. The global print ads marked a

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