Brantano in middle market push

Brantano, the Belgian shoe retailer, is launching a 5m national advertising campaign designed to reposition it as a stylish “middle market” footwear brand. The move is part of an aggressive expansion drive in the UK.

Brantano, the Belgian shoe retailer, is launching a £5m national advertising campaign designed to reposition it as a stylish “middle market” footwear brand. The move is part of an aggressive expansion drive in the UK.

The shoe retailer is launching its first TV campaign in the UK, developed by marketing agency RPM3, along with a new website offering consumers access to its products online for the first time.

The campaign, which breaks next week, also includes print and PR activity, will target its core female consumer audience exploring women’s relationships with shoes. The advert, which is in a spoof documentary style, will feature a fictional professor scanning women’s brain waves to illustrate the excitement triggered as they shop accompanied by the strapline: “Brantano. Mad about shoes. Sane about shopping”.

Brantano footwear chief executive Kurt Moons says the campaign aims to shift consumer perceptions of the brand from a “discount” retailer into a more mainstream, fashion footwear company. He adds: “We are focusing less on discounting and more on fashion, quality and affordability.”

The company is also plotting a major expansion drive in “out-of-town” locations throughout the UK with plans to open a further 20 stores nationwide, building on its existing network of 146 stores.

In October last year, Brantano reappointed ZenithOptimedia to its media planning and buying account following a competitive pitch (MW October 12, 2006).

Brantano entered the UK market after its acquisition of 52-strong chain Shoe City from Sears in 1997. The company is based in Belgium but has a presence across Western Europe along with franchises in the Middle East, overseen by the its UK team.

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