American lifestyle brand Johnston & Murphy released its new image campaign, “Not Your Dad’s Shoe Company.” Designed to reshape customers’ perception of the 174-year-old brand, the campaign highlights the company’s heritage while “inspiring audiences to perceive Johnston & Murphy as more than a dress shoe company.”

The “Not Your Dad’s Shoe Company” campaign is part of a strategic repositioning that “leverages the brand’s legacy while modernizing to remain relevant and breakthrough in today’s landscape,” said the company in a release.

Johnston & Murphy partnered with the creative agency Wolfgang to bring a fresh perspective to the brand. Wolfgang’s expertise will help the campaign resonate with an audience that “values quality craftsmanship, classic styling and enduring value,” making the ‘Not Your Dad’s Shoe Company’ campaign more impactful.

“Through recent consumer research, we discovered a unique opportunity to shift perceptions about our brand,” said Johnston & Murphy SVP of Marketing and Ecommerce Jason Dasal. “We have made great strides in expanding our product offering into apparel and accessories, developing innovative comfort technology and creating a product line that is relevant for today’s customer. With this campaign, we aim to solidify our position in the industry and inspire customers to see us from a fresh perspective.”

“Not Your Dad’s Shoe Company” emerges as a “strategic pivot to broaden Johnston & Murphy’s appeal, aiming to refresh and expand its consumer base while maintaining its core clientele. With a confident and playful approach to the direction, the campaign features generation-spanning talent that represents the brand’s customer base in old-world settings, creating a juxtaposition between old and new.”

The campaign features a new tagline, “Made for the Moment Since 1850,” which “harkens back to the American familial connection many customers have to the brand while establishing a forward-thinking narrative for the important and celebratory moments in life. This thread will be carried out in future campaigns.”

“We have experienced unprecedented sales growth over the past several years and we know how important it is to invest in an outward expression of our brand that connects with the consumer in a meaningful way,” said Danny Ewoldsen, president of Johnston & Murphy. “Our intention for this campaign is to enlighten a broader audience on the ongoing evolution of our brand through a respectful but lighthearted approach to our heritage.”

The campaign introduces Johnston & Murphy’s Spring 2024 collection featuring styles from its growing casual athletic and apparel lines. At the heart of the campaign are silhouettes that feature proprietary technology to enhance the comfort and performance of the footwear while keeping the classic and versatile styles that Johnston & Murphy is known for, including the Amherst 2.0 Knit Plain Toe, Kinnon Perfed Jogger, Miles Knit Lace-Up, and Daxton U-Throat.

The hero of Spring 2024 is the Amherst 2.0, a new iteration from its bestselling Amherst family engineered with a lightweight and flexible design with a TruFoam sole and temperature-regulating Smart Degree Technology.

“Johnston & Murphy has been crafting high-quality footwear for almost two centuries. Abraham Lincoln wore their shoes, so did your great, great grandfather, your great grandfather, your grandfather and your dad,” said Colin Jeffery, co-founder and CCO of Wolfgang. “But, with a modern, innovative, and versatile new product lineup, Johnston & Murphy is definitely not your dad’s shoe company; in fact, it’s not even just a shoe company anymore. We’re excited to make everyone aware of the great strides the company has made in recent years and share this next chapter with the world.”

This latest campaign launches when the company achieved notable sales growth across all product categories, a position recognized by its parent company, Genesco, Inc., through its continued investment in the brand.

The “Not Your Dad’s Shoe Company” campaign will be seen across Johnston & Murphy’s 153 retail and factory doors, including 24 airport locations. The media rollout will include broadcasts on ESPN and CNBC, along with digital placements on Meta, YouTube and TikTok. Viewers can see the first chapter of the campaign at and via the brand’s social channels.

Image courtesy Johnston & Murphy