Aldo Group is focusing on its global reach as it moves into its next half century as a brand.
The company’s new spring 2023 campaign, which debuted last week, involves a handful of celebrity creators across continents — and fields of influence outside footwear.
The campaign, which uses the tagline “for all that is you,” features five main stars: athlete Scotty Pippen Jr., model Irene Kim, TikToker Christina Najjar (also known as Tinx), musician Rishab Sharma and YouTuber Noor Stars. The casting process spanned several months, and the campaign in its entirety will live throughout the full spring season. Aldo launched the campaign with a 45-second video and plans to periodically publish content on social channels such as Meta, TikTok and YouTube, as well as employ out-of-home advertising and pre-roll advertising.
The Canada-based shoe giant, which was founded in 1972, has held several regional marketing campaigns in areas like the Middle East, the U.K. and India. But, because the company has stores in more than 100 countries, “we knew that the campaign had to be truly, truly global,” Amanda Amar, Aldo’s global senior director of public relations and social media, told Modern Retail. This is “the first time that Aldo is putting five different global celebrity creators at the forefront” of a campaign, she said.
Aldo began its casting process in August for the campaign. Each of the campaign’s five faces — while not in the fashion industry, per se — have “all worked through adversity to embrace what makes them unique,” Amar explained. “They also embolden their communities to do the same, which was something that we really loved about each one of the talent that were casted.”
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Stars, for example, is an Iraqi YouTuber who broke barriers by speaking about period health and body image and, according to Mashable, became the first person in the Arab world to cross 11 million followers on the platform. Najjar is an advocate for women’s health and empowerment, while Sharma speaks out about the importance of mental health.
For Aldo, “we’ve been around for 50 years, and there’s so much that we’ve done, but it’s been kind of behind the scenes in terms of social injustice issues or mental health,” Amar said. “The customer today is wanting to see that from brands. So we want to be able to socialize this in a way that has a bit more of a platform and really use it by amplifying some of these voices.”
Aldo’s official look book for the spring 2023 campaign includes retro-inspired designs, pastel colors and chunky silhouettes. Among its offerings are block heels, platform shoes and ’80s inspired sneakers for women and loafers, low tops and slides for men. The five stars can be seen wearing these items in the hero video, along with accessories like bags and sunglasses.
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Outside of its hero content, Aldo is handing the reins to its five creators, asking them to make content around their personal experiences with the campaign and its message. These can be anything from fashion transitions to skits to direct appeals to the audience.
Video, especially, will be key to this, Amar said. “The big thing that we’ve seen as a brand in terms of shift… is video, video, video,” she explained. “It allows a brand to have such deeper and richer storytelling within a piece of content and to really get that point across. So that’s something that we’re going to be pushing in a huge, huge way across these channels… We have seen a plus 40% performance on our channels year-on-year in terms of video engagement metrics versus other types of content, and we are here for it.” Right now, video is Aldo’s “biggest marketing shift in content,” she said.
Notably, Aldo is also recruiting additional creators on TikTok and Instagram to answer the question “what is your favorite you?” as part of the campaign, Amar explained. About 100 influencers across three regions will take part in this aspect of the project over the next several weeks. “We’re hoping to kind of have a bit of a social media takeover, so to speak, across the globe,” Amar said, adding that Aldo “is definitely going to put some media dollars behind… extend[ing] our reach outside of our existing communities.”
Evan Wray, the co-founder of Mavely — which pairs thousands of everyday influencers with retailers like Old Navy, Gap and Skims — says this pivot to smaller influencers is becoming more common.
“The idea of authenticity and trust is so critical in the consumer’s mind,” Wray told Modern Retail. “They know if an influencer is just hawking a product versus genuinely believing in something… Brands are really trying to drive towards authenticity. And what we’re seeing is… more raw content actually has higher views through higher engagement, higher clicks, than the super perfect, polished, filtered post.”
Aldo’s Amar agreed that customers “can sniff it out” if there’s not a “genuine connection” between an influencer’s brand and a company’s brand. She explained that Aldo wanted to find people who truly resonated with its message and history.
“We’ve seen the strength in working with really engaging creators through our own social and influencer programs,” Amar said. “It’s something that we’ve invested a lot more on year-on-year because of that depth of storytelling that we’re seeing coming out of these creators… For us… it’s not just about hand selecting who it is that you want to be at the forefront, but really, [who has] that genuine appreciation and love for the brand.”