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January 14th, 2009

Shoe Advertisers Get Creative

The melting economy has all retailers (and most businesses, for that matter) frantic for ideas to distinguish themselves from the increasingly winnowed pack of competitors.Apres Ski This. Shoe sales certainly haven’t benefitted from nosediving consumer confidence– unless we’re talking about second-hand shoe sales. Those are booming. But designers haven’t stopped designing. Shoe stores are still open. And we’re all still wearing shoes. So how can retailers and designers be sure that you spend your choosy footwear dollars on their brands?

By advertising. In such tough economic times, admen nearly become Gods of Advertising as their clever lines and witty inventions can save or sink a brand. Even higher-end retailers are pulling out all the stops. As today’s AdRants highlighted, Saks is indoctrinating would-be consumers with a Soviet-style campaign. (I love these bold lines and “Yes We Can!” spirit. Back in the USSR, indeed.) You can bet that shoe retailers won’t go down without a similarly bold fight.

One new approach: streaming video virtual girlfriends with recommendations. I’m talking about the new site, which provides “an innovative and targeted way to capture the attention of its audience through their biggest vice – shoes,” according to the press release. Zappos is leading the way, apparently. Yesterday,’s front page featured a Zappos-sponsored clip on throwback Moonboots.

Overall, the video is pretty slick. The spokesperson is fun and clear, and the video is short enough not to trigger your ADD. Here’s the real question, though: Does that whole Apres-Ski thing really work when no one can afford to buy a lift ticket?

Chime in. Would you “obsessively visit” this site, as the press release claims? Or are you already set in your online shoe news ways?

In case you are interested in snagging a luxurious new set of snow boots, check out the nearly half-price Flurry shown above. These Chewbacca-cozy boots are just about the sweetest way to keep your calves and toes toasty. They’re only $56, down from $100. Better grab ‘em before the Apres Ski crowd shows up.


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