— Nine West (@NineWest) August 1, 2014
Every woman owns a pair of Nine West shoes. I would bet a whole dollar on that. So you would think the company would know a thing or two about this demographic. Or at least what they do in their shoes. Their latest marketing campaign indicates they do not.
For their latest, they’ve accompanied some glamour shots of their shoes with phrases like the one above. Or a picture of flips flops in a handbag with the phrase “Anticipatory Walk of Shame.” Not cool.
Of course, the ads are sparking backlash. Ad Age editor Abbey Klaassen says here that she thinks the campaign could help the company because at least people are talking about them; basically the “there’s no such thing as bad PR” argument. But generally, when a company’s ads or social media activity goes viral, they don’t want it to be because people are calling the company “offensive” or “stupid.” The fact that Nine West hasn’t commented on the criticism indicates either they want to wait for it to simply die down or they actually do regret the decision to go forward with this mush.
The bigger issue is that the ads are tone deaf in a way that indicates they may not be fully aware of who the “modern woman” they’re targeting really is.