3 Brands Air New Ads In Brown Shoe Category

Leader Timberland, Lugz and Dexter Use Variety of Approaches
BOSTON–As Nike, Reebok and other sneaker companies find their markets maturing, the brown shoe category has exploded and, likewise, fall ad activity is heating up.
Category leader Timberland this month breaks its first work from The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., a $10 million print effort that eschews a tagline in favor of a “beliefs” theme. Lug Co. in New York will invest $8 million to tout its trendy urban Lugz footwear and apparel brand via TV, radio and print ads by Co-Ed in Chicago. And Dexter Shoe Co. has ponied up $6 million for its first campaign from Mullen in Wenham, Mass.
Timberland’s effort promotes both specific products and its philosophy of being a good corporate neighbor to its employees and the community, sources said. Eight-page inserts in September lifestyle and fashion magazines will be followed by single pages and spreads taken from the insert. Officials at the agency and Timberland declined to elaborate.
Lugz’ campaign–which is backed by nearly twice its prior ad budgets–aims to present the youthful fashion brand as authentic to its core urban audience and a wider group of suburban kids attracted to street imagery.
A TV spot aired on MTV last week, tagged, “Boots. Shoes. Jeans. Life.” It gets increased frequency this week on cable networks such as BET, USA, TNT and TBS. In its first network buy, Lugz will run heavily on The WB.
Print ads continue Lugz’ bond with rappers in September issues of The Source, Vibe and five other magazines. The ads feature artists Kid Capri and Outkast. A third showcases Premier, a new, dressier shoe.
For Dexter, Mullen has crafted a campaign poking fun at serious, Nike-style advertising. One print ad breaking next month features a businessman sprinting between two office buildings with the line, “I run because I must The meeting started 10 minutes ago.” The new tagline: “Built for the way you really live.” A TV spot, sharing the same theme and set to air in September, will also use the “I run ” line. –with Becky Ebenkamp