Brand Advertising Review: TOMS Shoes

December 11, 2009Sparxoo

By David Capece, Managing Partner

As an early leader in the social entrepreneur wave, TOMS Shoes has inspired many to do better and make a real impact on the lives of thousands of people worldwide. TOMS has a simple one-for-one mission:  when you buy a pair of TOMS Shoes, a pair is donated to a child in need. TOMS has won praise among politicians (Bill Clinton), businesses (AT&T), advertisers (BBDO Worldwide) and digital influencers (Digg’s founder, Kevin Rose even designed a “Digg shoe”).

This holiday season, TOMS has unveiled a brand new digital advertising campaign that speaks to their social mission and empowers audiences to make a real impact:

The TOMS campaign stands above typical brand advertising because TOMS tries to convince you to do good and help others.  That’s a lot more interesting than advertising campaigns that sell a company or product.  At its core, the video spot is inspiring.  The music is playful with crescendos that build-up your joy and happiness — making it emotionally powerful. Dancing with the music are small snowflakes to play on the holidays while symbolizing how each person (i.e. snowflake) working together can make a difference (snow).

Sometimes, video can make things complicated. TOMS, on the other hand, is not complicated. It’s simple, understandable and approachable. The video has two goals:  1) to explain TOMS’s social mission (one-for-one) and how they create impact (prevent foot disease) and 2) to encourage you to get involved.  The spot illustrates how buying one pair of TOMS Shoes can have a chain reaction — preventing foot disease for children around the world.

In our opinion, the key ingredient is the narrator. It’s not a man or a woman. It’s a child name Ronnie. Ronnie tells you, the parent, friend or family member, how you can make an impact. Humans have a soft spot for children around the holidays, so why not let a child tell the story?

Overall, TOMS has strayed from typical holiday brand advertising. There are not any loud, ringing bells, nor are there flashy pricetags and deep discounts. With its latest campaign, TOMS has illustrated what the holidays are truly about: giving.