Tag Archives: Kedettes

Keds Display Ideas. 1940

It seems like someone is always trying to sell us something. With the internet and companies tracking our every click, we are subjected to targeted ads everytime we open a digital device. Websites we visit are covered with display ads.  There’s nothing subtle about it.

Stores have always known that to sell a product, the consumer has to notice it. Store windows have been designed to draw people into stores, and once in the store, displays are set up to attract attention. It’s true today, and it was true in 1940,when the footwear manager of sales at Keds sent out a portfolio of suggested ways to promote Keds in windows and in the stores that sold them.

As you will see, there was a central theme that stores were being encouraged to emphasize. Can you spot what the theme is?

All the displays were built around several counter display cards like the two seen above. I’ll guess that the cards were a part of the display package that included my display booklet. The above display was titled Gardening and Leisure.

Vacation and Camp features a counter card with hikers. I wonder where they got that little tent.

Keds are also great for leisure hours, but who in their right mind thought doing laundry in a wringer washer was part of leisure? It’s obvious that Mr. Adman never did a load of washing in one of those monsters.

The booklet also had suggestions for the Kedettes line of shoes. Kedettes was still made of canvas, but were a step dressier than sneakers. Here’s the consumer is reminded that Kedettes go well with one’s playtogs, like that playsuit.

There was even a display suggestion for the piece goods department.  I really wish these photo were in color. I’ve seen these shoes in vintage magazine ads and they are so bright and colorful.

There were also suggestions on how to pair Kedettes with hosiery. Somehow I can’t quite picture these comfortable shoes paired up with a girdle and stockings, but then I’m looking at this through modern eyes and a more casual mode of dress.

So, if you were so busy admiring the photos that you forgot to think about the common theme, it is washable, here spelled out in washing powder. So that explains the washing machine in the leisure display, and the tub of cotton suds and tiny washboard.  I can’t imagine putting these shoes in a washing machine, as was implied, as a gentle hand wash is all I’d dare expose my Kedettes to!

Added 1941 ad:

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Ad Campaign – Kedettes, 1950

This Kedettes ad from 1950s is interesting because of what it does not say.  There is virtually no ad copy, only the styles, the prices, and a note that the shoes are washable.  But read the illustration, which says that Kedettes are just right for a casual date at the soda shop.

You might have noticed that colored rubber soles are pretty hot right now.  You see them quite a bit on athletic shoes, of course, but makers of street shoes, like Cole Haan have added them to oxfords  and loafers.  It rather nice seeing the same trend from 64 years ago.  There really isn’t much new under the fashion sun.

 

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Ad Campaign – Kedettes, 1953

I did promise to feature shoes this month in the ad campaign, and so now I’m making good on that promise.  Kedettes was a division of the United States Rubber Company’s Keds brand, making canvas and rubber casual shoes for women.

Some of the shoes in the ad look a bit dowdy to me, but have you ever seen a cuter thing than that Gay Espadrille?  The shoes came with two sets of laces – one to match; one to contrast, and they were available in twelve different colors.  They actually made it for several years in the early 50s, so why is it that I’ve never found a pair?

A few years ago Keds had a collection based on updated versions of the old Kedettes of the 1940s and 1950s.   Most of them had 2 -3 inch wedge heels , which lessened the appeal to me considerably…

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US Kedettes Capri Clogs, 1951

Are these as cute as I think they are?  Sometimes I think I may be overly influenced by the messages sent by the advertising.  In the above ad from 1951, the image of the little colorful boats awaiting their turn, ready to enter Capri’s Blue Grotto hits my travel bug hard.  So I’m thinking maybe I’m being swayed by what I would like to be doing while wearing thess Capri Clogs, rather than being in love with the shoes themselves.

Then I take another look at them, and think, “Naw.. it’s the shoes!”

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