New Balance Tries on American Flag in New Ads
25 percent of the merchandise it manufactures is made or assembled in the
U.S., but that’s enough for New Balance to wrap itself in the American
flag. The athletic footwear company is looking to tap into what it believes
is a shift in consumers’ thinking on the importance of buying products
made at home.
As an AdAge.com article
points out, New Balance runs the risk from its new campaign of being perceived
as "disingenuous." The company’s retort is that while only some of its
products are made or assembled here, most other companies in its space
produce all their goods outside the U.S. It also points to 1,300 jobs at
factories in the U.S. compared to zero for the competition.
the economic climate, we think our celebration of a manufacturing success
story will resonate with both our current consumers and consumers who may
not to be as familiar with our brand,"
New Balance spokeswoman Amy Vreeland told Advertising Age. "Typically,
in tough times, people focus on fundamentals and values, and this story is
really about people, their craftsmanship and community, which is core to
the American way of life."
The New Balance
campaign, which will include print, radio and online ads as well as an
online documentary, will launch this week.
director of knowledge and insight at Trend Influence, is among those who
think New Balance has picked the right time for this particular message.
consumers are feeling a sense of unity, affirmed by the ability to pull
ourselves up by our bootstraps,"
Ms. Gordon said. "It’s great to see New Balance, as an American brand,
embracing their American equity and helping the American consumer to be more
optimistic and see a better, brighter future."
Is now the right time for brands to be emphasizing a "Made (or assembled)
in America" theme? Will the New Balance campaign work considering most
of its product line is made outside the U.S.?