Keds Taps Taylor Swift as a Role Model for Girls

Taylor Swift is helping the Keds sneakers brand to roll out a U.S. campaign, dedicated to “brave girls,” who are not afraid of living their lives to the full. The 23-year old American singer-songwriter is known for her playful nature (in particular, she likes to write songs about guys she broke up with), so Keds thought she could be a true role model for the brand’s target audience, young females.

Photo: Taylor Swift in Keds shoe ad, (click to enlarge)

The campaign, which is estimated at $20 million, starts to roll out across multiple channels, including print, online and in social media, today, January 24. As part of the promotion, the brand is about to launch a dedicated website,, which is currently closed. The New York Times reports that the online destination will feature words that will encourage girls to make most of their lives: “Welcome, brave girl, keep your head high and your heart open” and “Don’t you dream impossible things?” and so on. “Try things. Say hi already. Laugh a lot. Mess up. Apologize. Mess up again. Hug people. Take chances. Trust yourself. Be brave and you’ll have the time of your life,” says the brand. The creative part of the campaign is handled by Toth & Company, the ShopPR division of Lippe Taylor is responsible for the digital and social media elements, while PGR Media is in charge of the media duties.

Keds teamed up with Swift in October 2012—then, the brand started selling red sneakers, which were inspired by the celebrity’s new disc “Red.” Now, the partnership developed into a massive advertising collaboration. The brand, which will celebrate its 100- anniversary in 2016, sticks to the youthful and optimistic spirit, and Swift, who now has a very strong connection with the young female demography, is a perfect choice to represent it. “If you’re lucky enough to be different from everyone else,” says Ms. Swift in one of the ads, “don’t change to be the same.”

We thought about who would be Brave Girl No. 1,” commented Rick Blackshaw, president for Keds in Lexington, Mass., “[and chose Ms. Swift, who] at 14 convinced her family to move to Nashville so she could pursue her musical career. We think she is a fantastic role model, an incredible talent and really meaningful to our girl.”

Apparently, female brands are now tending to focus on younger consumers. Recently, L’Oréal has cerated an online community, developed for girls in science, and Kotex has launched a massive educative promotion targeting girls and young women. The girls-focused trend is nothing new—for instance, Dove has been promoting self-esteem among girls for years,—but it seems that now it is on the rise again.