Keds Is Kicking Off Its New Spring Campaign

Stride Rite Corp.'s Keds brand is kicking off its springtime sneaker collection with a new print campaign, with spokesperson Mischa Barton showing off the latest styles.

The campaign targets both men ("ages 25 and up, classic and sophisticated with an edge," says a Stride Rite spokesperson) and women ("17 to 35, stylish, independent, classic and fun.") But while the ads are aimed at a young demographic, their look is a throwback to a different generation, shot on a reconstructed movie set to invoke a little old-style Hollywood glamour, circa the 1940s.

Themed "be true," the ads feature the work of fashion photographer Anne Menke, who captured actress Barton getting ready for her closeup. The print campaign, which includes 10 different layouts, is scheduled to appear in the March issues of Lucky, Glamour, Vogue, Teen Vogue and InStyle.

"Mischa continues to be a great partner for the Keds brand," the company says in its announcement, adding that the campaign underscores the brand's positioning as both original and classic. "Be something that matters, something that holds up under pressure, be what stands up when others fall," reads the copy, from agency Toth Brand Imaging. "Be the real, the bona fide, the actual, the significant. Be yourself. Be true."

While the Keds brand has been kicking around since 1916, it falls into a niche that is currently hot right now: Not-so-athletic athletic shoes. Whether they're called "fashion sneakers," "low performance shoes," "ath-leisure," or "classic sneakers," as Keds prefers, The NPD Group reports that based on 2006 sales results, such shoes now represent the second-largest athletic shoe category--accounting for about $4.8 billion of the $19.4 billion athletic footwear market.



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