TOMS Gets Shady

TOMS Gets Shady

TOMS is famous for their do good approach to business. With every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need across the globe. The company has given out over 10 million pairs of shoes since 2006. But TOMS hasn’t stopped there..

On October 10th, TOMS launched a campaign for World Sight Day. They produced a limited pair of TOMS branded sunglasses, and for each pair purchased, TOMS would provide eye-care to a person in need. This could be through providing prescription glasses, medical treatment and even sight-saving surgery! TOMS challenged people to show their support and raise awareness for the visually impaired by “Being Shady”. People were encouraged to wear their shades in an unusual setting (e.g. in the mall, at the gym) and then share their photo via social media using the hashtag #BeShady.

I love the TOMS brand and their business model. I think they effectively use unique guerrilla marketing techniques, such as this campaign, and the “A Day Without Shoes” campaign to engage consumers. However, many people criticize that its “raising awareness” campaigns are merely just marketing ploys to raise the awareness of TOMS, and the “Buy one Get one” model actually fails to give people what they really need.

Have you ever purchased a pair of TOMS shoes? Was the “Buy One Get One” model one of the deciding factors of your purchase?

Would you participate in the #BeShady campaign on social media?


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6 thoughts on “TOMS Gets Shady

  1. sachin30 says:

    I haven’t purchased a pair of TOMS shoes but I think if they actually follow through on their commitment to give back then I think its a great idea. I would personally participate in the #beshady campaign to raise awareness for what they are giving back to people in need more so then to promote the TOMS brand itself.

    • obeverett says:

      Thanks for checking out my blog!
      I think its really smart of TOMS to develop a campaign like this because people don’t have to be TOMS owners to participate. They have their 1 for 1 philosophy, where people donate by purchasing the shoes, but they have lots of fun campaigns that people can participate in just to raise awareness, without having to buy anything!

  2. TOMS has done an excellent job of positioning themselves as a brand that is charitable while at the same time retaining its status as a ‘for-profit’ company. This allows them to appeal the socially conscious consumer and benefit the community at the same time: however this is also a point of criticism of the company.

    It has been mentioned many times before that TOMS is profiting in areas where charities work selflessly and give more to communities than just shoes that they may not even need and thus pollute the areas.

    Criticism of their practices has been around for quite a while which makes me a little worried for them to be using the word “shady” in a campaign.

    Not that I don’t support the cause or their good intentions, I just don’t believe that using the word “shady” along with any campaign involving charity doesn’t invoke the best associations.

    I have never bought a pair of TOMS but know many people who have an are happy with the company and their products. I don’t think I’ll be participating in the campaign but I am definitely in favour of their charitable practices, especially if they are delivering on their promises!

    • obeverett says:

      Interesting point – I never thought of the negative associations people may have with using the word “shady” in their campaign. I’m sure there are people who may have taken the term literally due to the skepticisms of TOMS. Definitely not something a charity wants to be associated with.

  3. ramblingsbydenise says:

    Great article! Firstly, I love the title and I love the company.

    Toms is doing a great thing with their 1 for 1 philosophy. They aren’t a charitable organization, yet they have done a fantastic job promoting their practices and making everyone see the good that they are doing. I have bought a pair of TOMS and didn’t regret it because I knew they were doing good!

    • obeverett says:

      Thanks for reading my blog!
      I agree with you – I had a pair of TOMS and just recently bought another pair because I really liked them. It definitely makes me want to buy the shoes over others because I’m helping out someone in need as well.

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