LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. is one of the oldest outdoor, industrial boot manufacturers in the United States, founded in 1897 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. With a proud heritage over 100 years in the making, LaCrosse Footwear also had an inconsistent and undifferentiated brand message. Combined with competitors like Muck and Under Armour aggressively spending in both new product development and marketing, our challenge with this assignment was to reinvigorate the LaCrosse Footwear brand in a print campaign that leveraged their history in a surprising and relevant way.
Creatively, our approach for the campaign was to focus on LaCrosse Footwear’s brand heritage as a proven manufacturer of best-in-class rubber boots for generations—a true differentiator in a category crowded with copycats. LaCrosse Footwear has been doing it right since 1897—no fads, no gimmicks. The best boots, and nothing else. To capture this idea, our print ads made the LaCrosse boots the hero, connecting their core benefits directly to the brand’s history. For the whitetail hunter audience, we showcased tough, durable, comfortable boots covered in mud and dirt with the bold yet unexpected headline, “You Don’t Live To Be 118 Years Old On Clean Living Alone.” Paired with a textured treatment of the brand’s color palate of golden yellow and earthy grey, the ad stands out in a sea of sameness, positioning LaCrosse as a premium boot crafted to withstand the rugged outdoors—a tradition enjoyed by hunters for over a century.
With a very limited paid media budget, our primary objective was to build upon existing brand awareness while increasing consideration and preference, ultimately impacting sell-through of specific models at retail in 2016. The print campaign was supported with full-page placements in key whitetail hunting publications such as Whitetail News, Bowhunting World, Whitetail Journal and Petersen’s Bowhunting. Estimated impressions total more than 5.5 million. A brand tracker was instituted in fall 2014, and a second survey will be fielded again in fall 2016 to measure impact on awareness, consideration and preference.