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Dr. Martens aren’t just for mosh pits anymore. This spring, a first time national ad campaign will introduce new, more subdued shoe styles.

The shoe company better known for heavy work boots popular with punks and club kids will break the campaign in print in April magazines. ad campaign to broaden the brand’s appeal. media buy.

“They’ve traded on their heritage for quite a while. This is part of a revolution of their design,” said Damian Horner, board account director at Mustoe Merriman.

Print and outdoor, tagged “Dr. Martens has the cure,” will focus on a common theme how most people feel their feet are their least attractive feature, Mr. Horner said. The executions will feature spare, minimalist images of the sandals, which he promised would be “very different” than traditional shoe advertising.

The campaign will include print, radio, out of home and point of purchase materials. As print ads appear in April and May books, radio spots will break in April nationwide, according to Dani Zizak, the company’s new national marketing manager.


Her appointment was part of recent efforts to expand the brand’s image and marketing efforts, said Martin Berendsen, CEO of Dr. distributor.

Dr. Martens previously had done promotions on a regional basis, such as sponsoring rock concerts with local bands. But this spring, the promotions platform will go national for the first time, Ms. Zizak said. The company will sponsor a sweepstakes that will give away four day stays in Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel as well as a private rock concert for the winners, and its industrial division which markets work shoes will sponsor Planet Honda, an upcoming motocross event.

While Ms. Zizak would not disclose the company’s marketing budget, she did say it is a significant increase from Dr. Martens’ previous spending. Dr. Martens spent $1 million in the first 11 months of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

The company, a division of British shoemaker R. Riggs Group, began making the thick soled work boots on April 1, 1960, in Northamptonshire, England. Initially, the “1460” boots were part of the work uniforms for British postal workers and policemen, but they caught on with punk rock devotees on both sides of the pond.

While the company wants to expand sales, it will retain a strategy of limiting distribution to a handful of outlets in each market to avoid saturation, Mr. Berendsen said. Dr. Martens shoes are available through upscale department stores such as Nordstrom and Dillard’s and in a limited number of specialty stores in major cities.
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