Industrial boot maker Red Wing Shoes launched a global advertising campaign Tuesday focusing on its intentionally "Out of Fashion" Red Wing Heritage line of leather and double-stitched footwear.
The initial 13 advertisements started hitting social media sites Tuesday and will run for several months. The video commercials, which will run in Red Wing Shoe stores around the world and online, feature people wearing the Heritage boot as the story is told about their work, lives and passions.
Three of the "Out of Fashion" commercials were filmed in Taiwan, London and Philadelphia. A fourth ad is a 90-second "anthem" featuring the individuals in the first three spots paired with a voice-over reading a letter written by the late avant-garde journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
Nine additional video ads will be much shorter and cast different individuals, officials said.
The "Out of Fashion" campaign marks the first time the 116-year-old Minnesota-based manufacturer has gone overseas to showcase its rugged Heritage line of boots. The documentary-style ads feature unique people from around the world who are known for "going their own way" and creating their own trends, norms and identities, said Aaron Seymour-Anderson, Red Wing's brand and creative director. "They are so authentic. I want to go hang out with each of them."
The budget for the commercials was not disclosed. The ads were designed to pay homage to the history, longevity and sustainability of Red Wing boots and the people showcased during each film shoot.
Heritage's "Classic Moc" product is known for being hardy but also appeals to the casual wearer who values the look of leather, high ankles, cord laces and thick sturdy soles, but not necessarily the steel toe. The boots typically retail for $250 to $300.
The boots are worn by each person in the ads, which are directed by the London-based Nigerian Akinola Davies Jr.
The segment filmed in Taiwan features the Changs, who are 83- and 84-year-old laundromat owners who became overnight internet darlings after posing like fashionable movie stars in clothing that customers forgot were at their 50-year-old Want Show Laundry.
Urged by their grandkids, the cheeky couple started posting their staged photos online as a way to remind customers to come pick up their forgotten garments and pay their bill.
Red Wing Shoes officials said their spunky antics embody what it means to be fun, daring and blessedly "Out of Fashion."
Another Red Wing ad features Erin Brown, the executive director of the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy. Brown gained the nickname "The Concrete Cowgirl" for her work teaching at-risk, city youths to ride and care for horses and for educating the public about the 100-year-old history of Philadelphia's Black urban cowboys and cowgirls.
The last 60-second ad was filmed in London and features Bioni Samp, an English beekeeper, ecologist and D.J. who makes synthesized music using the buzz sound made by his bees and by running sounds through honey jars.
"His carefully crafted albums take nearly two years to complete, and the finished product doesn't fall in any one genre," Red Wing officials said, adding that such people inspire the employees and the customers of the company.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the commercials were filmed with a minimal production crew onsite and with producers and directors contributing remotely from their posts in London, Taiwan, Philadelphia and Minneapolis, Seymour-Anderson explained.
The ads can be viewed on Facebook, Instagram and the Red Wing Shoes website.
Dee DePass • 612-673-7725