Aldo dances onto TikTok

With a video-led approach, the shoe retailer is trying to convince younger buyers it's more than just a "mall brand."
aldofall2020

Footwear retailer Aldo is finding a new way to express its brand values in a fall campaign that sees it add an emerging platform to its traditional creative approach.

Launched on Monday, the “Step Into Love” campaign is running across digital, in-store and out-of-home, but also its first execution on TikTok.

Aldo usually tells its brand story through traditional photography that appears in signage and glossy magazines, typical of the fashion category. Though its target audience remains wide, Daianara Grullon Amalfitano, SVP, Aldo Brand at Aldo Group says it chose to create its first video-led campaign to expose more of Aldo’s existing brand personality – based around unity, self-confidence and connecting with others – to a younger generation that views it more as a legacy or “mall” brand.

Through the rest of August, users are encouraged to perform a “#StepIntoLove” dance and post it under the hashtag on TikTok for the chance to win $5,000. The dance is performed to the song “Roses (Imanbek Remix)” by hip hop artist Saint Jhn, which is already one of the more popular songs on the platform (it also appears in an online campaign video, seen below). Aldo has also partnered with numerous influencers on TikTok to demonstrate the dance and get the word out.

@d3mstreet

Dancing shoes and big money moves! ##ad Join us and @aldo_shoes for the ##StepIntoLove dance challenge! Enter to win $5K! Let's get it! ##FYP ##AldoCrew

♬ Roses (imanbek remix) – SAINt JHN

“Social media has always been a gateway for us to connect with our community,” says Amalfitano, adding that TikTok users are more known for creating communities around shared values, participating in trends and building on each other’s content. That all encourages a great deal of engagement. “When TikTok launched, we recognized this as a platform that promoted virality in ways we haven’t seen before. It’s also a hub of global unity, and rewards creativity and originality. We knew we wanted to be part of that.”

The campaign launches at a time when Aldo is charting a road to recovery after months of being forced to close its stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aldo filed for creditor protection in May, one of several already struggling mid-range fashion retailers that buckled under pressure from the pandemic. In Aldo’s case, the filing came in the midst of a transformation plan aimed at reversing several years of losses, decreasing the share of business represented by bricks-and-mortar sales in favour of its online, wholesale and franchise channels.

Amalfitano says Aldo has definitely seen a shift towards ecommerce and digital content during the pandemic, which has also changed behaviours in Aldo’s newly reopened stores. Now, shopping trips are shorter, with consumers doing their browsing online before they come in. For Aldo, that has reiterated the importance of watching and understanding every point of the customer journey.

“We are always paying close attention to stay relevant throughout that shopping journey, watching where [consumers] are starting and finishing,” Amalfitano says. “Has COVID escalated that? Maybe. I would say it shifted us more to paying attention to all of our digital communication, because we realized consumers are spending more time at home, and they are absolutely spending more time on digital and social media. It’s about having that mix that reaches them. ”

Amanda Amar, Aldo’s global director of social media and PR, elaborates that while its digital and loyalty programs help the brand to learn more about its existing customers, social media has been Aldo’s go-to when it comes to bringing people into the funnel or simply getting them to consider the brand. On that note, Aldo has also extended its presence to Reels, a TikTok-like feature recently added to Instagram.