Robinson’s is one step ahead with Smithwick’s ad campaign

Robin Stewart with a pair of the signature brogues (file photo)
Robin Stewart with a pair of the signature brogues (file photo)

A Carrickfergus business is to showcase its signature product to a national audience after being featured in a new ad campaign.

Brogues from Robinson’s Shoemakers can be spotted in the latest television advertisement from drinks brand Smithwick’s.

Centring on the tag line ‘Superior then, superior now’, the campaign aims to celebrate timeless classics - including the signature tan leather brogue.

Robin Stewart, who owns the West Street-based retailer, explained: “It was something the company had approached us about; they wanted to use the best Irish companies and small local companies; they did a search online and found us.

“We were delighted to feature our brogues in the ad; it’s going out on RTE and in the UK as well so it’s great PR for us.

“It’s nice to have that feeling that we have ‘arrived’ and that big companies are sitting up and taking notice.”

Established in 1954 by Robin’s wife’s parents, William and Annie Robinson, the business began as a local leather workshop and traditional cobbler.

Since being bought by the Stewarts in 1996, the company has grown its web presence, to the extent that 90 percent of sales are now online.

Meanwhile, the shop’s bespoke footwear and personal fitting service has attracted something of a celebrity customer base, with boxing stars Carl Frampton and members of the Ulster rugby squad to TV’s Ian McIlhinney (Game of Thrones) and singer Brian Kennedy all fans of their brand.

“Quite often people are wearing the wrong size of shoe, so they like getting properly fitted with us,” Robin added.

The new campaign was created by Adam&EveDDB and directed by David Edwards. A statement from the company read: “A step change from previous Smithwick’s campaign executions, the TV spot follows a man walking confidently into a contemporary bar wearing a woollen flat cap. A super reads: ‘The Flat Cap. Since 1352.’

“The camera moves away from this man to a DJ standing by her state-of-art decks. She slips out a record from its sleeve and flips it over. The camera moves down to a closer look at the records spinning on the turntables. A super reads: ‘Vinyl. Since 1930.’

“We then move towards another man who’s sitting down, tapping his foot to the music. Focus is drawn to his shoes; a pair of beautifully crafted, contemporary, tan leather brogues. A super reads: ‘Brogues. Since 1910.’

“Moving back towards the bar, the barman pours a pint of Smithwick’s and places it on the counter. The shot closes in on the pint and its deep red hue. The super reads: ‘Smithwick’s. Since 1710.’ The screen closes with “Smithwick’s. Superior Then. Superior Now.”

Jennifer English, marketing director of global drinks company Diageo said: “This campaign celebrates how craftsmanship, attention to detail and experience are appreciated by people for generations.

“Fashions come and go but quality endures.”