SBD/November 16, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Van Heusen Brand Using NFL-Inspired Ad Campaign To Target Younger Demographic

Van Heusen's new campaign is targeting the coveted 18-34 male demographic
Clothing brand Van Heusen is "stepping up its efforts to use a different entry point -- football -- as a way to get young men interested in style," according to Andrew Adam Newman of the N.Y. TIMES. A "broad marketing effort called the Van Heusen Institute of Style" features Pro Football HOFers Steve Young and Jerry Rice, as well as Lions QB Matthew Stafford as "guides to help men make the transition, in the words of the campaign, from 'schlub to swagger.'" The company said that the "average age of a Van Heusen consumer is 39 ... but the campaign is being pitched to younger men from 18 to 34." The Van Heusen website and Facebook page have been "transformed into an extended football metaphor." Fashion spreads featuring the players "are called 'playbooks' and feature gridiron lingo: one featuring fitted shirts is called 'First and Fitted'; another with colorful shirts is called 'Friday Night Brights.'" First introduced in '10, the "newest iteration of the Institute of Style campaign is a collaboration between Van Heusen and Funny or Die, the comedy Web site." On Sunday, during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” a 30-second commercial "in the form of a trailer for the video will direct viewers to the Van Heusen Web site." The company declined to reveal "expenditures for the campaign, which also includes print advertising in GQ, Men’s Health and ESPN The Magazine" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/16).
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