ToWe were surprised to discover that the well-known boating shoe brand Sperry had been established in 1935, considering the shoes have increased tremendously in popularity over the past several years. We were quick to learn, however, that this trend of Sperry Top-Siders has come about recently due to a brand overhaul and campaign launch in 2003, which has proven to be very successful for the brand. No longer are the boating shoes thought of exclusively as made for yacht owners while sailing, because today Sperry caters to a wide range of lifestyles without forgetting their nautical origins and compromising on quality and authenticity. Although we hardly ever commandeer yachts out on the open sea, you can often find us wearing our Sperry Top-Siders for their comfort and, of course, classic style. Here, we take a look at Sperry’s historical advertising campaigns, all the way back to 1935.
1. Hats, bags, and shoes share the focus of this 1977 campaign.
2. In 1982, Sperry reminded us that the shoes serve purpose outside of sailing. Today’s campaigns reiterate this idea that boating shoes aren’t “just for the high seas”.
3. A 1985 campaign to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary. We can’t help but feel a little bit jealous, as it seems people must have had more spare time to actually read advertisements nearly thirty years ago.
4. Sperry proves that they create products for people with varying lifestyles- not just the sailors- in Fall of 2009.
5. In 2010, boating shoes appeared just as fashionable (if not more so) than even in 1935.
6. The same year, Band of Outsiders collaborates with Sperry Top-Sider to give the brand an edgier vibe, as seen in this Vogue advertisement. Musical artist Pharrell Williams certainly lends his own fresh touch to the campaign.
7. 2011’s very patriotic Sperry ad campaign. Can you get any more American than boating shoes, the U.S. flag, and a golden retriever?
8. This year’s campaign is classically Sperry- preppy models psoing happily by the ocean- but with a new twist: Sperry flats for those of us that rarely find ourselves sailing ships.
Today, Sperry holds true to its promise to make shoes that fit a wide range of varying styles. From leopard-print pairs to sequined styles to the original tan leather, there’s a Top-Sider out there for everyone, including us non-sailors.
What are some of your favorite advertising campaigns from years’ past of Sperry? We would love to hear about them in the comments section below!