Home is where the heart is: That’s the theme of New Balance’s latest brand campaign, which highlights its U.S. manufacturing workforce. It kicked off this week with a two-and-a-half-minute video about the town of Skowhegan, Maine, where the athletic firm has one of its five manufacturing facilities. (Other facilities are located in Boston; Lawrence, Mass.; and Norway and Norridgewock, Maine, where it makes or assembles a quarter of its total footwear.) “During this tough economic time, we are proud to showcase the powerful unity of our American workforce and their local community,” New Balance CEO Rob DeMartini said in a statement. The mini-documentary, created by production outfit Digital Kitchen, is airing on the company’s Website, and on its Facebook and YouTube pages. Later this month, New Balance will launch a contest for fans to win a trip to the Skowhegan factory and plans to donate $1 per contest entry to the National Center for Craftsmanship. That effort will be followed this fall by a national awareness campaign that includes print, radio and online components.
They are the most media-savvy generation yet, but teens still respond to good old-fashioned mall advertising, according to a recent study by Scarborough Research. The company questioned more than 1,600 teens across the country and found that 95 percent noticed some form of mall ads. The most noticed form was poster displays, followed by hanging ad banners and sampling. In addition, almost all the teens had a positive reaction to mall advertising, with 81 percent of girls and 77 percent of boys calling at least one type of ad “cool.” And in today’s economy, sale promotions can be especially effective: Teens who are spending more right now compared with a year ago are the ones who respond the most to ads.