Aldo leans more into digital to change millennial perceptions

The second edition of the shoe retailer's digital-first campaign is continuing a strategy of meeting customers where they are.


Aldo is strutting to market with the second iteration of its “Step Into Love” campaign, again highlighting self-confidence and optimism but leaning even further into digital channels.

“Stepping Into Next” is aimed at Gen Z and younger millennials to get them to become the best versions of themselves, or to “tell their next story.” The creative features foot-first split screens and quick cuts of different street scenes and style varieties, with people stepping into parties, farmer’s markets and art galleries.  

[iframe_vimeo video="592208477"]

The campaign is digitally focused, even going so far as to run on connected TV but not traditional television.

Its first foray into TikTok last year, aimed at telling consumers it’s more than a mall brand, inspired a mindset for the brand to stay close to channels favored by its target, according to  Catherine Sabourin, senior director of brand and content development at Aldo.

“From an awareness and consideration perspective, we are really using lots of digital media channels to push our video and visual content to the consumer, and we are using contesting and influencers to further drive that message and further mobilize and engage them,” Sabourin says.

One change from this year’s campaign is shifting more of the elements to Instagram over TikTok, including this year’s contesting component, which includes a chance for consumers to win $5000 “towards their next chapter.” The contest reinforces the personal betterment theme by inviting its audience to highlight a recent “next step” they’ve taken, whether it’s achieving a goal, checking an item off their bucket list or simply taking a small step to becoming the best version of themselves.

For the latest campaign, Aldo’s objective is to “get customers to know who we are, what we do, and what we stand for,” Sabourin says, which includes creating content for the cross-generational/cross-gender consumer and what it has come to expect from a trendy fashion brand.

“We’ve always been cross category and across stereotypical gender, and really more and more we’re trying to do a great balancing act and showcase the whole breadth of our assortment,” Sabourin says. This includes styles from casual, fashion, athletics, glam and boot.

The spot’s musical chorus is “people dance” as a conceptual tie-back to last year’s TikTok-led campaign effort.

“The brand positioning has stayed true to what we are, elevating life,” Sabourin says. “We are a positive and optimistic brand at our core,” and with the latest spot, it’s imagining a positive look at the future and what’s in store.

The campaign video was conceptualized by Ogilvy, with media buy by Mediacom. Jane Gill handled public relations.

Sabourin says campaign spending is in line with last year, even as it changed up the media mix.