An Effort To Defy Gravity

Easy Spirit To Bow Playful Print Ads From Toth
NEW YORK–Hoping to move beyond the memorable “looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker” jingle, Easy Spirit is planning to funnel most of a $3-5 million fourth-quarter advertising budget into a print campaign that promotes its “anti-gravity system” technology to women age 35-45.
In its first work for the footwear brand, Toth Design & Advertising in Concord, Mass., has fashioned four double-page spreads that portray a playful defiance of gravity.
The left-hand page of each execution features age 35-plus models Carre Otis or Cordulla jumping and tossing apples, while Easy Spirit loafers, pumps and sneakers are shown on the right. Bubbles appear at the bottom of the ads to represent the comfort-inducing micro-bubbles contained in the soles of the shoes.
“Gravity is a law. And some laws are meant to be broken,” reads the copy on one execution. Another reads, “You will have to fight gravity. And trust us, it’s not a fair fight.”
The ads seek to convey lightness both physically and in attitude, according to Toth creative director Joanne Reeves. “The name anti-gravity has a lot of meaning for women in this stage of their lives. Things start to sag, and you realize you want to be as light as you can,” she said.
The new direction also reflects how Easy Spirit’s core audience has evolved over the past 10 years. “Women today have come to expect comfort in their lives,” said Peter Huffine, Easy Spirit’s vice president of marketing. “It’s gone from a trend to a way of life.”
The campaign seeks to take the Easy Spirit brand beyond the comfort positioning established by the client’s “looks like a pump” ads while differentiating it from competitors such as Naturalizer and Aerosoles by focusing on the technology.
The ads will run from October to December in 10 women’s magazines, including Martha Stewart Living, Self, Ladies’ Home Journal and Walking.
The creative approach will extend to outdoor executions breaking in the fall. TV spots expected to launch in the spring will play off several of the print ads’ visual elements.
Owned by Nine West Group in White Plains, N.Y., the Easy Spirit brand is sold at the company’s 250 retail locations, in addition to 1,000 department stores. This fall, a third distribution channel is being opened via sports specialty stores such as Lady Foot Locker and Footaction.
The campaign stems from Toth’s winning presentation to client executives in April, when it won the assignment following a review that included Arnold Communications in Boston and Publicis/Bloom, Gotham and The Lord Group, all in New York.