Birkenstocks Beware

Adweek: Independent TDA Advertising & Design said it has launched a $1.3 million print campaign for Crocs casual footwear tagged “Ugly can be beautiful.”
For the shoemaker’s first consumer advertising, Boulder, Colo.-based TDA crafted three full-page executions playfully “acknowledging Crocs strengths and weaknesses at the same time,” said shop creative director and copywriter Jonathan Schoenberg.
“They are funny-looking,” but people are hooked as soon as they slide their feet into the shoes, he said. “They’re super-light and super-soft . . . We just want people to try ’em on.”
The ads are running nationally in magazines including Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, GQ, InStyle and Real Simple, as well as regional periodicals like San Diego, San Francisco and New York.
In addition, TDA has crafted city-specific wild-posting efforts in San Francisco and New York. Earlier this month, the agency relaunched the redesigned Crocs Web site.
Crocs—which Schoenberg called “extremely utilitarian”—are currently available in seven rainbow-spanning styles. The shoes are “great for sports, gardening, the beach,” he said, as well as for kids (“they can put them on themselves!”) and always-on-their-feet workers such as nurses, doctors, chefs and restaurant employees.
“I’m a bit of the socialist about these shoes,” Schoenberg noted.
Based in Niwot, Colo., Crocs’ production rate has grown to about one million pairs per month, according to TDA. The company is expected to go public within the next few weeks, and will be listed as CROX on the Nasdaq exchange.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Crocs. You’re either for them, or against them, as my sister said. [I’m for, she’s against. ]

  2. I’m for. That Schoenberg sure is a persuasive guy. I bought a pair on my lunch hour yesterday and thus far I refuse to take them off.

  3. my favorite quote from Schoenberg in one of the articles on this campaign: “…They also find them loveable, like an ugly baby.”