MacKay & Co. Public Relations is now John MacKay Writer. Please visit me at www.johnmackaywriter.com.
Fashion Magazine MacKay and Co.

Cougar: Taking it to the Streets

Cougar? Wasn’t that...yes, you’re right, it was. It was a caramel coloured, puffed leather winter boot that more than 8 million Canadians wore in the 1970s. Wore and loved; so much so that Saturday Night Magazine actually wrote an ode to it. When we got a call from Cougar telling us they were revitalizing the brand and had designed a fashion-forward collection of Cougar boots, we were intrigued. 


In 2011, Cougar launched an updated Cougar Pillow Boot in a limited edition and we introduced it to the press coast-to-coast. They loved it; the new boot was sleeker and more urban than the original but still built to take anything a Canadian winter could throw at it. We told the Cougar story, establishing Cougar’s positioning as a heritage brand at a time when Canadians are more interested in their history than ever before. Magazines, newspapers, bloggers, and television all told the Cougar story, introducing the new boot to a new generation.

The Cougar saga continued: this past winter they introduced a small collection of chic-yet-hardy boots influenced by the original Pillow Boot. But how would we make an impact this year, knowing the press had told the Cougar story so fully and so effectively last year? We felt that this was the year to take Cougar directly to consumers as well as to the press, and so did Blammo, Cougar’s advertising agency, who created a “mobile fitting room:” an all-window truck that would take the new collection to the young urbanites for whom Cougar is designed. Young women could try on the boots of their choice, be photographed in them in front of a Canadian landscape backdrop, have their photo posted on the Cougar website, win their boots and possibly become Cougar’s billboard model. 

The press, of course, are consumers too and we loved the idea of getting them to the truck and getting the boots on their feet. The Cougar Fitting Room’s first day of operation became media day and 22 newspaper and online fashion writers joined us at the truck to try on Cougar’s new boots and be photographed. We created Cougar snack boxes for them with hot chocolate and Canadian inspired treats. Tweets and Instagram posts were instantaneous and the initiative generated numerous placements.

Click here to see some of the media coverage we generated for Cougar.

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