DSW Holiday Campaign Highlights Shift From Hyping Discounts To Brand Storytelling

Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW) and its agency Translation are introducing the "Desire Is" campaign to sell shoes during the holiday season. 

One ad starts off as a basic romance story that is then revealed to be a funny moment that takes place at a company Christmas party that can be "blamed on the shoes." The message is designed to highlight the transformative power of DSW shoes and extend the over-arching "Blame It on the Shoes" narrative. 

The spot airs on broadcast as well as online and in social media starting November 22.

DSW has shifted its advertising from promoting straight discounts--like announcing 30%-off sales-- to developing more compelling narratives. 

The shoe retailer spent $43.4 million on advertising in the U.S. in 2015, up from $29.1 million in 2014, according to Kantar Media. 



In addition to this ad campaign, DSW is creating new brand experiences inside and outside the store. With 70% of the U.S. population living within 20 miles of a DSW store, the retailer says it has a "competitive advantage and speed to consumer and instant access to an expansive assortment."

Moreover, DSW has expanded its inventory from roughly 2,500 choices in an individual store to over 30,000 choices across the entire enterprise. 

"We're accentuating the warehouse experience, a core pillar of Designer Shoe Warehouse,” the company said in a statement. “Not a warehouse in the traditional sense, but a warehouse at the front of the supply chain where the customer can find the newest and best products at an incredible value."


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