Advertising analysis – Shoes for Everyone
Servis has been a leader in the footwear industry for over 5 decades, dominating Pakistan’s shoe market until the 90s. Starting its journey as a single retail footwear outlet, the brand has over 400 stores in Pakistan today and is growing internationally with presence in many other regions of the world.
The impact of international competition in the country, as well as the start-up of small, unbranded local manufacturers for men and women footwear was the turning point for the company. This was the first competition for Servis and they had to adapt to this change, which lead the company to sign agreements with big names such as ECCO, Hush Puppies and Nike.
Being a local company, Servis had always been like a ‘family’ store and had kept a low profile with only in-store advertising. You would only see of sales or new items if you happened to walk past the store itself.
This closed purchase cycle had been effective in terms of cost but hadn’t managed to leave an impact or boost sales. Initially, the cycle of new arrivals were limited as well, and the customer tends to lose interest, especially women who can only be kept engaged with a frequent innovation cycle.
However, you can also only keep them engaged if they are made aware of them. But with only in-store advertising, how would one get the customers there?
Servis’ new campaign for unveiling its corporate tagline ‘Shoes For Everyone’ seems to have resolved this issue as well. Unlike a few initial appearances that went unnoticed, this campaign has brought the company on a completely new platform, which is refreshing and strongly maintains all consumer touch points.
The commercial is energetic, revolving around people from all walks of life and portrayed well in their own surroundings. A lively storyline, with a great choice of models with dynamic expressions and a catchy jingle (even with the irritating voice manages to leave you humming the tune long after the commercial is over), the 360-campaign execution has done well with great production, direction, location and the set.
For someone who does not believe in singing and dancing concepts to sell a product, this commercial takes my attention for one reason –instead of showing it’s monotonous rubber sandals and standard unenthusiastic shoes, it manages to keep the viewers engaged with interesting faces and expressions. The fact that through most of the commercial there is no major sign of shoes (let alone the name Servis) is in itself a daring approach for the company.
On the other hand, Servis is probably aware of the fact that most people have moved on to international brands as their first choice of footwear, and that keeping Servis nonexistent was the only way to keep the viewers attention till the end.
The approach may not be new and Servis may still not have the right shoes for everyone, but for the company to make a breakthrough into ATL with a commercial that has not only managed to keep our attention but has also gone viral with online interactivity with customers on social media and with over 3000 shares, is proof that a different approach always works for a fresh start.
For a country like Pakistan where most original ads only cause embarrassment and the good ones are either international adaptations or stolen concepts, a step like this is bound to be promising.
The writer is a New Media Design Manager at Dawn.com