New life for an historic retail brand

Jones Bootmaker

Jones Bootmakers asked us to ‘reignite’ a much-loved and well-established brand while retaining all the positive associations of a century-and-a-half of heritage. We had to reinvent the brand, in other words, without reinventing the wheel.

Innovating from the start

Alfred and Emma Jones opened their first footwear shop in Bayswater in 1857 and immediately started to innovate, installing electric light and producing ready-made shoes in three different widths. Now with high-street locations throughout the UK, the brand is known for quality and heritage while introducing contemporary design to the product range. Equator were asked to reflect this balance, with new art direction and a through-the-line campaign.

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Adding some classic glamour

To marry timeless style with modern cool, we looked to the Madmen era, and a great American pioneer. The fashion photographer Richard Rutledge was the go-to guy for American Vogue, Glamour and Condé Nast magazines throughout the 1950s. His meticulous style and witty use of props was precisely the approach we wanted for Jones, and we used his prolific back catalogue  to inform the brief for our own photography.
We put cocktails, goldfish and classic toys into the sets, using the quirky props to support hero shots of the Jones footwear range.

Meet the Joneses

Each style in the Jones Bootmaker collection has a boy’s or girl’s name - Kate, Fenton, Harriet and so on. We wrote subtle, charming copy that personified these names as characters in the Jones family - typically glamorous, confident people with genuine chutzpah. “Harriet is unable to take your call. Please try again later” was one of our favourites.

Above and below the line…

Even in the digital age, high-street shopping remains about the window, so our work had to be effective as point-of-sale. We used tent cards, window posters and bound catalogues to carry our stylish imagery.

…and above and below ground

With a media plan featuring transport and outdoor, we produced bus stop adshels and, as Jones Bootmakers have five key stores across London, lots of executions for the capital’s Underground, including escalator frames and big, across-the-rail posters.

Online

Our glamorous imagery provided big, bold statement images for the brand’s website, without compromising the unavoidable complexity of a functional digital shopping environment. Sales and promotions, sizing, delivery details and store locator all worked around the hero images of our campaign.

Result

We’ve updated Jones Bootmaker for a new era, while retaining heritage equity and nodding subtly to a glamorous past. At the same time, we introduced the nation to the Joneses, and provided an infinitely flexible, expandable campaign idea that, like a good pair of shoes, could run and run.