South Africa’s iconic safety footwear brand, Maxeco, celebrates 30 years – and 10-million pairs – of protecting the country’s hardworking workforce with a new campaign from Nelson Mandela Bay agency, Boomtown.
Maxeco’s owner, Lemaitre, is a pioneer of South Africa’s safety footwear industry. In 1991, it used its first direct injection moulding machine to create Maxeco, the first double-density PU1 safety boot to be manufactured in the country.
“Since then, Maxeco has gone on to become South Africa’s number one selling safety footwear brand. Across construction sites, mines, farms and factories, almost 10 million pairs have helped realise the dream of a stronger South Africa by protecting the millions of workers who built it. That’s no small feat,” punned Boomtown’s CEO, Glen Meier.
The campaign was conceived and created by Boomtown’s team of Jesse Sharkie, Anthony Heim and Michael Coetze, with a creative strategy developed by Ahmed Tilly. It is currently running in select print titles as well as in the digital space.
“I have a great respect for brands that produce great products. Lemaitre is no different. The task was for Boomtown’s team to find a strategic approach that is differentiated, unapologetic and true to the brand. And so ‘The most beautiful shoe in the world’ was born,” said Tilly, who is consulting to the agency.
According to Meier, the campaign highlights the impact that the iconic Maxeco range has had on South Africa by posing a provocative question and delivering a rather unusual but inspiring answer.
“The campaign asks the question ‘Is Maxeco the most beautiful shoe in the country?’ To look at it, the answer is obviously ‘no’, because safety footwear and style don’t often go hand in hand. However, given Maxeco’s pioneering spirit, there’s more to it than meets the eye,” Meier explained.
“It’s been there to help build important structures that we know and love. It’s created jobs through local sourcing and manufacturing. It’s been there to contribute to an inclusive economy for all our people. And it has been on the frontlines of the nation’s industries, protecting those who are strengthening South Africa.
“Maxeco is not beautiful in the conventional sense, but it is beautiful because of what it has helped accomplish. No other boot has done more to build our new nation, and that’s a beautiful thing,” he said.