Ugg Australia wants to be known for more than its ubiquitous sheepskin boots.
The company is trying to refashion its image with a new marketing campaign featuring intimate moments with famous icons, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Ernest Hemingway's great-great-granddaughter Langley Fox, and California architect Harry Gesner. In the ads, the icons talk about their passions, their family life, and what the Ugg brand means to them.
The campaign is meant to redefine Ugg as a "premium lifestyle brand" that has relevance beyond the winter season by showcasing the company's many other products, including shearling rugs, sneakers, and footwear styles for men.
This is the Gesner family wearing Uggs on the beach "in a nod to Ugg's surfing roots," the company says.
In the next ad, the company features items from its men's line, which launched in 2012.
"For women, the Classic boot is an on-standby style staple," the company writes on its blog. "For men, however, styling the boot can be a bit daunting. Enter Marcus Troy, Creative Council member and ambassador of all things cool."
Ugg asked Troy to "re-envision" the Classic boot.
"The result? A dose of swagger and a lesson in styling," the company says. "We have to say, the barometer has been set."
Ugg's sales growth peaked in 2004. Since then, the company has endured a lot of criticism.
"The high fashion crowd has largely dismissed the boots as ugly," writes Huffington Post's Kim Bhasin. "Podiatrists have said the boots don't provide proper support, leading to health problems. A U.K. judge warned that the boots are dangerous to wear while driving. Animal rights group PETA mobilized against Ugg, accusing the company of "extreme cruelty to animals."
Ugg hopes its new campaign will deepen customers' connection with the brand, or as the company puts it, to bring "emotional power" to the Ugg brand.
"The stories with Langley, Tom and Harry and his family are both personal and authentic," Ugg Vice President of Marketing Nancy Mamann said in release. "Because each of our moments highlights real people, we’re able to dive deeply into who they are and what moment they’re experiencing – whether it’s on our blog, on our website, even our social channels – and bring to life the environment in which people from all walks of life, doing very different things in their private lives, live with UGG."
In an interview with the company, Fox, a sketch artist, is asked what her "UGG moment" is about.
She responds, "My moment is all about creativity and spontaneous bursts of passion for what you truly enjoy doing in life. In the campaign, you will see me pulling an all-nighter, completely engrossed in my illustrations."
Here's Fox with a $795 Ugg sheepskin rug, a $145 Ugg pillow, and $160 boots.
Here's another one of the new ads featuring the brand's woven blankets and pillows.
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