How Not to Market to Women: Nine West

So the advertising geniuses at Peterson Milla Hooks that Nine West hired have recently launched a new advertising campaign for the “shoe occasions” we everyday women go through. Initially, I assumed the campaign that targets 25 to 49 year olds is a campaign to be relatable and sell shoes that will lift you up regardless of the situation you are in, right? WRONG. 

Behold the ads for “Starter Husband Hunting” and  “First Day of Kindergarden” that will be plastered across 600 stores and will make you cringe.

NineWestAd1 NineWestAd2

Now, I am as perplexed as Kelly Goldsmith (assistant professor at the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management) who said “100% positive there is a strategy here, I’m just not sure what it is”.  I am also equally enraged as who labeled the ads as “ridiculous“. Some marketers believe that the objective for Nine West is to create social buzz. But the only buzz and media attention they are getting is the awful kind: 

TweetNineWest TweetNineWest2

Honestly, this could have been a phenomenal campaign. Women go through a lot besides finding a husband and dropping off kids to school. Where are the ads for meeting your ex in killer shoes, nailing that job interview shoes and having your first orgasm shoes? I am assuming the plot was to get media attention and they were in every major news publication for this (Huffing-post,, Daily Mail, etc.). But was it worth the backlash? I don’t think so.



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