Easy Spirit Ads Use ‘Cybillism’

Easy Spirit hopes celebrity Cybill Shepherd personifies the “free spirit” lifestyle in an upcoming television and print campaign for the women’s footwear maker.
Created by Toth Advertising & Design in Concord, Mass., the effort carries a new line: “This is your life. Live it comfortably.” Ads featuring the 48-year-old actor are scheduled to launch in April.
Neither Easy Spirit nor its parent company, Nine West Brands in White Plains, N.Y., has ever used a celebrity endorser. Shepherd’s selection stemmed from focus groups that often cited her as best personifying the brand’s attributes.
“It’s a great opportunity but also a great risk,” said Stacy Lastrina, vice president of corporate marketing at Easy Spirit. “But Cybill is just perfect for our brand. She’s beautiful, independent, confident and stylish, and she’s into comfort.”
The ads represent the actor’s first official shoe endorsement, according to Lastrina, although the actor’s decision to wear a pair of white leather Reeboks to the Academy Awards in the 1980s helped launch that brand.
Three 15-second commercials for Easy Spirit will be placed in the same half-hour shows so that viewers can see the whole campaign in a single session. “They are shot in a very stream-of-consciousness fashion . . . that present witty moments of clarity,” Lastrina said. “We call them ‘Cybillisms.'” One of the spots features Shepherd with her teenage daughter, Clemintine.
The ads were directed by Matthew Rolston, who, in addition to making music videos, is best known for The Gap’s “Khakis Swing” commercial, one of the most popular ads last year.
PGR Media in Providence, R.I., handles buying and planning for the brand. The print schedule, which Lastrina said is still being finalized, will include Mode, Self and Martha Stewart’s Living, as well as women’s service magazines.