Famous Footwear Taps Campbell Mithun

NEW YORK Famous Footwear has tapped Campbell Mithun as its new lead agency and appointed Willie Smith svp, marketing for the 1,100-store footwear chain, which is owned by Brown Shoe of New York.

The client spends about $20 million annually on ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

In his role, Smith will be in charge of strategic development of the Famous Footwear brand, and will be responsible for forging a stronger brand connection with its value-oriented, mass consumer demographic.

“Will brings a proven track record of success in marketing footwear brands, and a keen understand of the shoppers Famous Footwear serves,” Joe Wood, president of Brown Shoe’s retail division and Famous Footwear, said in a statement. “We believe that [Smith’s] addition to our team will foster an even stronger customer connection.”

Previously, Smith was the CMO of athletics for Steve & Barry’s, where he headed brand development and marketing for product launches including Stephon Marbury’s “Starbury” shoe, Venus Williams’ “Eleven” and Ben Wallace’s “Big Ben” line. Before that, he served as group vp, marketing for Liz Claiborne’s retail division, as well as vp, marketing for the company’s outlet division.

Interpublic Group’s Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, will now handle creative and branding duties, which include not only national advertising, but also a series of “consumer relationship-building programs,” according to Famous Footwear. The first Campbell Minthun-created campaign will debut later this year.

“Campbell Mithun excels at creative innovative campaigns that speak to consumers on an emotional level,” said Wood. “With this new team in place, Famous Footwear will expand the reach of our communications campaigns and excite even more shoe enthusiasts to visit our stores.”

Hiebing, an independent shop in Madison, Wisc., had previously worked on the brand.