I am a Sperry’s girl. I have a few pair in my closet that I absolutely love. However, the last time I was in the Sperry store, I was annoyed by the ads on the wall.
The store had print displays of Sperry shoes submerged in water. Models actually wearing Sperry’s in the water. I thought maybe I had missed something- was there an added waterproof benefit that I wasn’t taking advantage of with my Sperry’s? Would you believe that I actually asked the clerk if the shoes were waterproof? I feel foolish admitting that I had asked- but the ads made me do it. The clerk was gracious, but said that Sperry’s were water-resistant only.
Rosalinde Rago (1989) said that with the rise of new technology and the proliferation of ever newer channels of communication, “product differentiation based on functional differences has become increasingly difficult (as cited in “Creating the image”, n.d.). She goes on to say that marketers have to rely more on intangible characteristics of a product in order to create an emotional bond between the brand and the target consumer. So the intangible benefit of wearing Sperry’s is that you will feel refreshed, like you’re living, creating your own best stories, etc. The tangible benefit is that you can walk right up to your Odyssey-like adventure. You just have to remember to take your shoes off first because, after all, they are only water-resistant.
Creating the image: Between the truth and the lie. (n.d.). University of Oregon. Retrieved from http://journalism.uoregon.edu/~tbivins/stratcomweb/readings/AD/Advertising-image.pdf