Exit Urban Shoes (26)

Monday, September 25, 2006 by , under , , , , , , ,

From Ogilvy Belgium, this Exit Shoes campaign features smashing art direction, and weird-but-strangely-compelling storytelling. The copy reads "they'll find the way out". Interesting. I like ads which, while being very clear communicatively speaking (can I really say "communicatively"?), do bring enough absurdity and grotesque to generate an irresistible want for scrutiny from the viewer. And it's the case with these: you can't do anything but stop and try to complete the story behind these. Maybe except that third one. (Thanks, CoolZ0r!)

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26 Reply to "Exit Urban Shoes"

Unknown on 3:32 pm

Amazing pics!!!!nice and cute blog.....the things in that blog are very interesting....shoes meansTimberland shoes.....do you agree with me?????I know you must......


Anonymous on 11:03 am

the ad with the dog being abused is disgusting...how can you state that this is art?


David Claude on 6:21 pm

Who said anything about art?


Anonymous on 8:14 pm

The tied dog is not art. It's not even good advertising. You have alienated a major part of the market place that cares about animals. Does your client have any idea how much business this ad has cost them? It has already been posted to animal rescue sites. I assure you the reaction is not "Let me run out and buy those shoes!".

Don't confuse shock value with mind expansion.

Pam In NJ


Anonymous on 10:23 pm

Wow, funny how everyone reacts to the dog, but no remarks about the dead human beings. People, get your priorities straightened out.


Anonymous on 10:23 pm

Wow, funny how everyone reacts to the dog, but no remarks about the dead human beings. People, get your priorities straightened out.


Anonymous on 9:57 pm

The "dead" human beings look like dummies.


Anonymous on 10:52 am

Once again, an animal against its will is abused and made defenceless in the name of fashion...What is this macho thing with bounding animals so they are inferior to humans and making them suffer??? sick, sick, sick people..Use humans, they can say what they think and feel, animals cannot speak out so leave them out of it. This dog is obviously terrified, either that, or its been killed. Just bloody disgusting.


Anonymous on 8:49 pm

Who said sick humans are a priority? The animal abuse picture will be taken so lightly, sick humans. These pix are all disturbing, the companies need to show common sense.


Anonymous on 8:59 pm

Anonymous you're an idiot. "Who said sick humans are a priority?" probably made #1 in my "Stupidest Quotes Of 2008", right next to your upcoming post.


jain on 9:02 am

The humans in these pics chose to be in them, the dog did NOT. Animals were not made for our entertainment or exploitation.

It's unfortunate that this has gotten so much attention. I had never heard of this brand before.


Anonymous on 12:48 pm

First, the dog has an owner. The dog owner probably accepted that the dog be in the shoot.

Next, the dog was certainly not abused. Imagery was certainly all done in photoshop, like most of the ads you see today. It was made to look real, and the original ad must feature a small type warning saying the animal was not abused.

Third, choosing or not choosing to be in an ad is not the question. An ad depicting violence in a fashionable way is just an unfortunate choice of advertising, period. Let's not make this a debate about human or animal rights, and let's just not make this a debate.


Anonymous on 7:33 pm

The humans re actors, paid to mke it LOOK like a desperte situation. The dog, whose HANDLER may have been paid, did not understnd the concept of being hog tied for a photo shoot. The act of binding this dog is abuse. The photographer, the handler, the art director, the ad agency and the company are ALL guilty of exploiting the abuse of this animal for profit.


Anonymous on 10:21 am

Since when are humans a priority over animals? Thats putting a little too much ego where it doesn't belong. Living, breathing creatures are mostly equal, with the thinking/speaking ones being the dumbest of all. When kids see this ad, what will they think? Hey, lets do that to our family dog. The only good thing that can come from this ad is both companies (shoes and advertisers) receive enough bad flack to bankrupt them.... and then the owners are hog-tied themselves and maybe thrown in a river.


Anonymous on 8:56 am

"Since when are humans a priority over animals???" Are you stupid??? Why don't you visit Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guatemala or Liberia and you'll find out why. Try to live there out of your rich-ass little american confort for a year, and you won't want to protect dogs anymore, you'll want to eat them.


Waltraut on 12:29 am

well, fact is that the dog is shown in a position of cruelty and that the majority of dog lovers will remember the ad and NOT BUY the product.


Anonymous on 8:51 am

This ad is a magazine spread and NOT a one-pager. The woman on the left has been mauled by the (now tied) rabid dog, but is so fashion-obsessed that she wears a boot on one of her crutches because she can't wear it on her foot. In the fashion world, I think it's quite audacious and aimed at stirring people - a success. By crying out and spreading this "abuse" ad everywhere on blogs, animal lovers did the brand a favor without knowing it.


Anonymous on 8:52 am

Think about it: owning a dog is already a form of abuse. Animals should be free.


Anonymous on 1:39 pm

How does "top of mind" work, David, when people refuse to buy these shoes or products advertised by Ogilvy? Does being on radar of the Advertising Standards Council count as an award?


Anonymous on 1:43 pm

Too bad Ogilvy Belgium pulled the ad and issued an apology.


David Claude on 5:11 pm

Jan, thanks for sollicitating my opinion on this -- the truth is, yes, showing a dog being abused isn't a very sensible advertising decision. Most certainly Ogilvy was after some sort of "shock and awe" effect with these ads, and besides the dog, actually 100% of these ads are in bad taste. However you need to tell yourself this: a) Exit Shoes attracts the more marginal, artistic and excentric clientele and b) the ads must've been featured in magazines catering to this select crowd only, and not the general public.
The problem is that their internet presence on blogs outreached their intended audience, and the general public was exposed to something that wasn't suitable to them.

As an advertiser, if a client asks me to create an impactful ad meant for the BDSM or sadochistic crowd, I can certainly do it and make sure I have the right media channels to speak to these people, but then if the ad comes out of context and is exposed to the general public, I must be aware of the flak I might take as an agency. Ogivily knew the risks, and made the call anyways.

Also, where these ads say "shocking" to some, they say "daring" to others. You can't judget mentalities, only know that they exist. Proof is that some people at Exit Shoes just said yes to these being shown, so you do have people who see little problem with tied dogs out there. While this doesn't excuse the choice of depicting a mistreated animal, one can wonder where to draw the line when trying to impress a marginal crowd with advertising creative. I would be curious to hear Ogilvy Belgium's take on this.


David Claude on 5:15 pm

Also to answer your question, there are more advertising contests out there that award creativity, than those who actually salute sales performance.
There should certainly be one which mixes both.


Anonymous on 11:19 am

Exit Shoes is surprised that people are still flooding them with complaints but that's the persistence of the internet. They said they fired Ogilvy over this.

Looks like they misread this "select crowd". Some of us artistic, eccentric folks draw the line at buying shoes from people that don't fire an agency a whole lot sooner when it comes up with this stuff.


Anonymous on 11:31 am

According to Exit, the magazines were Elle and Marie-Claire. Pretty mainstream.


David Claude on 8:24 am

This smells like a classic "no-budget-but-awardable" creative that was paid out-of-pocket by the agency for an "open-minded" client, and dropped in random magazines without any real strategy -- for the sake of having something to present at Cannes.
While this happens often in agencies, I guess this one iteration is just a poor judgement call right there, one I believe Ogilvy will not make again soon.

Not only does this prove that a bad ad can outlive its intended existence and harm a brand long -term, but it also proves that the web is a much more powerful "reach" media than agency media buyers will agree. This dog ad probably made front row of all blogs and forums in the talk-osphere. Just imagine if Ogilvy actually had came up with a great ad...


Anonymous on 12:50 am

The dog photo convinced me - NEVER TO BUY YOUR SHOES - good work.


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