When Aerosoles was looking for a new face for their latest campaign, the character they had in mind (originally named “Madison”) was a cool, world-traveling city girl, always on the go and involved in doing good. They looked no further than the real-life equivalent of this character: Jackie Stewart.
The New-York-based model and actor was given a number of challenges that would be captured on video for the brand’s website: how far can these shoes take you? Jackie’s job: to show herself pushing the limits while having fun.
Why is this advertising successful? Because it’s not advertising. Jackie feels this project works because nothing is scripted (i.e. limited); real life is always more interesting than anything Madison Avenue can dream up. Aerosoles’ plan: hand Jackie the shoes and let her be Jackie. Let her go about her day. Keep it real. Make it organic.
Entrepreneurs about to promote a product or service, take note: Millennials reject advertising and labels – at least the traditional advertising that banged generations over the head for decades. It’s not about “selling;” it’s about being aspirational and giving back. Jackie says that selling is beside the point – stand back and look at the bigger picture.
The phrase “feel good, look good, do good” gives more meaning and purpose to the brand, making it more multidimensional. Jackie’s favorite video was hanging with members of Harlem Stage for a video project called Empowering Voices, finding out what inspires them. She wanted to pay it forward: Aerosoles gave her a voice, and she wanted to shift the camera away from herself and focus on the kids and their voices. Dig: #OnHerFeet
With a masters degree in media culture and communication from NYU, Jackie is concerned about a cultural narrative that tends to box us up, label us down, and ship us off to Stereotypeville. Anytime somebody meets her and asks her what she does, she’s reluctant to reply with “model and actor,” because it sparks a superficial, checkbox idea of who she is. She feels it’s limiting and that she’s much more than that – a three-dimensional human being involved in community-oriented work, including volunteering in India with The Miracle Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps support local orphanages break the cycle of poverty.