Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 12, 2017
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Minelli goes for more feminist image with new ad campaign

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 12, 2017

Minelli has changed its approach. After teaming up with Georgia May Jagger, Minelli's only brand ambassador since 2014, the Vivarte group's French footwear retailer has refocused on its customers, unleashing an advertising campaign centred around women's everyday life. The brand positioning was redefined with the help of female-only agency Mad & Woman, created in 2012.

These campaign visuals do not feature either suggestive poses or full figures - Minelli

"We felt our relationship with Georgia had run out of steam, the time of brand ambassadors is past," said Armelle Griveaux, General Manager of Minelli. "Even though she helped bring us closer to a younger clientèle and raise our fashion bar, it was time for us to jettison the institutional, distancing figure of a brand ambassador. We wanted to let women from real life speak." The label had also been criticised for some advertising visuals which objectified the top model.

Minelli's first advertising campaign of the Mad & Woman era features five influencers, four women and a man, and puts shoes in the foreground of its selfie-style, not star-photoshoot-style, pictures. "We wanted to put shoes back in a prominent position, because we are proud of our products," Griveaux added.

Minelli's new brand approach is designed to generate more empathy with customers. "It is an immersive campaign which allows the retailer, whose style was recognised but also perceived as rather aloof, to speak to every woman. The starting point is not choosing an outfit, but the things [women] do in their daily routine. Each and every one of them wearing the right kind of shoes, to get them further," said Christelle Delarue, founder of Mad & Woman. "Our aim is to establish a close connection with all our various types of customers, whether employees, artists or executives," said Griveaux.

Minelli's slogan is preceded by a hashtag, as the brand wants a more extensive presence on social media - Minelli

By and large, Minelli's product range is unchanged, and strives to remain contemporary and comfortable, not especially targeted to fashion victims. And the brand's new slogan #Walkwithminelli, featured on campaign posters, seeks to boost Minelli's presence on social media.

The new approach relies heavily on digital tools, but has also taken on a physical dimension. The brand, founded in 1973, is testing a new retail format on avenue Victor Hugo, Paris, designed to create a warmer and more digital-friendly ambience, closer to customers, having so far relied mostly on a functional approach.

Besides the new campaign, Minelli is involved in several projects focusing on women's empowerment: the retailer is a partner of the 'Eté des entrepreneuses', a trade show dedicated to female entrepreneurs, it has  joined forces with feminist newsletter Les Glorieuses, and will promote Empow'her - a company supporting women-led start-ups - to customers seeking to set up their own business.

"Minelli operates 224 stores in France and 95 outside the country, and it is a major high-street retailer. It is essential for us, as we are starting this new conversation, to be ahead of the curve again," said Griveaux. 

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