One of Australia's best known all-purpose children's footwear brands, Clarks has traditionally been the first brand mothers think of when looking to buy school shoes for their children. However, as new brands have entered the market, Clarks' advantage has eroded. Earlier this year, the brand set out to rebuild its equity by reminding mothers why Clarks shoes represent a good investment.
While the first day of school is an emotional time for both parents and children, the majority of school shoe advertising concentrated on rational messages around the cheapest, easiest and 'best' back-to-school gear. Working with Whybin\TBWA, Clarks sought to take a different approach. The campaign revolved around tweaked images of the 'first day at school photo' with oversize uniform props to convey the idea that 'nothing else fits like Clarks shoes'. However, rational appeal remained a key factor. The TV and print ads, along with a prominent PR campaign, served to drive traffic to a designated microsite offering information and guidance from a qualified paediatrician. The interactive site played a key role in the campaign by educating parents on the importance of buying the right shoes - in the right size - for their child. With more widths and lengths than any other shoe brand, only Clarks could claim to be Australia's best-fitting school shoe.
The three-week long campaign resulted in a seven per cent increase in sales of Clarks shoes over the back-to-school period at the start of 2010.
This article was originally published as part of the 2010 Top 1000 Brands report.