Many brands hire celebrities as ambassadors, but to increase its profile as a premium brand in China’s increasingly crowded footwear market, Danish brand Ecco did something slightly different by appointing actress Qin Lan as ambassador for its men’s collection.
“This marks the first brand ambassador programme in Ecco’s history and I’m pleased that China is the first market,” said Ecco China marketing director Mellisa Lim. “China has become increasingly important in Ecco’s global distribution.”
Lim said Lan embodies the brand’s Scandinavian brand personality of effortless elegance, open-mindedness, a focus on family and active living, with a sense of aspiration. “We are not looking for pompous and extravagant people with an overloaded style, as our brand ambassador should have a sense of comfort ... that can be sensed even if he or she is running a marathon,” Lim said.
Asked why they used a female celebrity for a men’s shoe collection, Lim said it fits the theme of ‘Know a man by his shoes’, which was created by Agenda in March with eight interactive videos with different styles of men’s shoes.
Lan plays an important role in the campaign as male consumers can get her advice on finding the most suitable shoes from Ecco’s 2014 new Spring/Summer men’s collection. “Having a female brand ambassador gives us the opportunity to attract men’s attention to not only the celebrity, but on their own shoes and our brand and products.”
Lan also shares tips with women on how to pick up on signs from looking at a man’s shoes. “It tells you his social status, his taste, what he loves and what he hates, if you want to see into a man’s mind, look at his shoes. The shoe style of a man reveals his secrets.”
For the year-long endorsement contract, Lan will take part in its campaign shoots, new collection launch events, national road show appearances, philanthropic activities and online events.
“We do not do hard selling,” said Lim. “Instead, we engage the brand ambassador as peers, respecting their ability to understand the value of our message.”