Taylor Swift Stars in Global Rebrand for Keds: ‘Ladies First Since 1916’

kbs+ celebrates today's trailblazing women

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A year ahead of its centennial, footwear brand Keds is launching a global brand platform and fall 2015 ad campaign around female empowerment, and has gotten one of the world's great trailblazing women, Taylor Swift, to headline it.

Print ads from kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners show the pop star, 25, posing against artistic backdrops with headlines like "All dressed up with everywhere to go" and "There's no such thing as an average girl." The tagline: "Ladies first since 1916."

Click the ads to enlarge.

"A new generation of women has been leading an exciting cultural shift redefining the conversation about equality and female empowerment," Keds president Chris Lindner said in a statement.

"Keds was originally created in 1916 to provide ladies with accessible, fashionable footwear to allow them to be who they wanted to be, and go where they wanted to go. 'Ladies First' is a celebration of amazing women like Taylor Swift who are blazing new trails every day. From CEOing to BFFing, these ladies are doing it all."

The campaign features other female talent, both on and off camera. In addition to a few other models, the ads employed notable female artists to make the backdrops—including illustrator Priscilla White, surface artist and pattern designer Kendra Dandy, and street artist Paige Smith.

Keds said the combination of poppy, street-style photos and empowering headlines is meant to deliver a "one-two punch of fashion and emotion" and capture "what it means to be a lady in 2015."

The media plan combines retail, social, print and digital (publishers include Nylon, Paper, Interview, Refinery29 and WhoWhatWear) with wild postings, bus wraps and subway media "in many of NYC's most artistic neighborhoods."


Client: Keds

Agency: kbs+

Co-Chief Creative Officers: Jonathan Mackler, Dan Kelleher

Group Creative Directors: Julie Liu, Michele Kunken

Creative Directors: Angela Denise, Debra Maltzman

Associate Creative Directors: Nicole Lucey, Samantha Arcade

Art Director: Loren Boggs, Jen Donatelli

Copywriter: Sheena Brady, Aaron Rodriguez

Co-President, Co-Chief Strategy Officer: Jonah Bloom

Strategy Director: Holly Williams

Associate Brand Strategist: Abigail Laster

Content, Social Strategist: Jaimie Vaillancourt

Head of Production: Jenny Read

Senior Producer: Allyson Doody

Group Account Director: Ritu Sharma

Account Director: Christopher Ghent

Integrated Project Manager: Adrienne Hudspeth

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.