‘Live in Rockport’ Push Debuts

NEW YORK Rockport is kicking up its personality with its new, global “Live in Rockport” campaign breaking this month.

The veteran shoe brand is aiming younger by targeting consumers in their mid-30s. Print ads feature lifestyle shots of models silhouetted against the shoes. Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston created the effort which will include radio, out-of-home and in-store ads, as well as an increased focus on online media.

“We’d had several campaigns that had done a good job of showing off our new products, but they hadn’t done a great job of showing the brand’s personality and creating that emotional connection with consumers,” said Michael Maloney, director of brand marketing at Rockport, Canton, Mass. “So in this campaign, we’re showcasing beautiful product photos with lifestyle shots that depict the consumer wearing the shoes in their everyday life.”

While ad spend is not expected to increase this year, Maloney said that the brand was shifting a greater portion of spend to the online medium, which will constitute some 30 percent of the overall campaign. The brand spent $5 million for the first 11 months of 2007 on measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

“Online is a space where we’re a little ahead of the curve, since a lot of our competitors in the brown shoe industry are not yet present,” said Maloney.

The brand will relaunch its Web site, Rockport.com, in June with more of a focus on facilitating e-commerce and revamped visual elements from the campaign.

Next month, it debuts its new Signature Series product, a more upscale collection of men’s and women’s dress and casual footwear, with price points from $110-250. The line will likely be featured in fall ads.

In tandem with this global campaign, Rockport will focus on international expansion in 2008, opening doors in Melbourne, Rome, Parma, Beijing and Dubai.