Case Study: Kaufman Footwear

Sorel Winter Boots Brand
4 Years of Creative Direction

Jim’s Key Role: Creative Director, Strategist & Writer


Through what Kaufman’s G.M. describes as the worst four years in the history of the footwear business in North America.
√ 1990 Sales Increase — 12%
√ 1991 Sales Increase — 14%
√ 1992 Sales Increase — 16%
√ 1993 Sales Increase — 23%

√ Dramatic market penetration in Canadian urban centers, US, Europe, and Asia.


Creative Direction for the Kaufman Footwear account, an account which billed in excess of $5M. Kaufman consists of 4 individual brands, including Sorel cold weather boots, Black Diamond safety boots, Defrosters winter boots and Foamtread slippers.

Sorel is by far the largest of these four brands in Kaufman’s marketing mix.


To reposition Sorel to appeal to a broader customer base, taking advantage of its strength in the traditional market areas.


New targets were identified and a multi-focused series of campaigns, developed under the overall banner of “Warm & Dry”.

Concurrently a massive product program was put in place to reduce the number of boot models, to organize them into areas of consumer interest, thereby creating smaller subgroups which would have their individual marketing foci. These divisions included:
Professional, Women’s Fashion, Kids, Snowmobile, Light Casual.

The overall brand campaign elements included: print, outdoor, radio, television, coop, in-store video & point of purchase display, outdoor, ski slope site advertising, event sponsorship catalogs and direct response.