Carhartt workwear maker launches first national campaign
marked work apparel company Carhartt’s television advertising debut as it launched its first ever integrated national advertising campaign, according to BrandWeek
New York-based WPP’s Team Detroit was tapped to head up this project in an effort to attract younger male consumers between the ages of 18 and 34. The spot will run on ESPN, The History Channel and The Discovery Channel through Dec. 19th.
“This is the first time we’ve had a consistent message across channels,” Marketing Director Randy Meza told BrandWeek. “We’re really excited about the story we can tell. We realize there are a lot of opportunities for us as a brand to grow.”
Coinciding with the television campaign launch, the Dearborn, Mich.-based company also created a microsite that displays five different endings to the commercial, as well as behind-the-scenes footage as a way for consumers to learn more about the product and to take part in discussions regarding outdoor interests.
Point-of-purchase displays are another aspect of the campaign, as are digital media outlets as well, including flash banners on more than 10,000 Web sites and a social media campaign on Facebook.
Also coinciding with the new campaign launch, Carhartt appointed Tony Ambroza as its new vice president of marketing. He previously served as director of men’s brand marketing and director of retail marketing at Under Armour and had a distinguished career with Nike as U.S. brand strategic planning manager.
Carhartt manufactures unisex premium outerwear, jackets, work boots, flame-resistant clothing and durable workwear. The company also offers a complete line of clothing for warm and cold weather that includes jeans and work pants, shirts, sweats, shorts, t-shirts and accessories.
In an interview with corporate communications representative Lindy Mueller, WinmoEdge learned that Carhartt
’s new integrated campaign, “Relax, It’s Tough,” is the first national advertising campaign at this heightened level that the brand has run in its 121 years in business.
“It’s an opportunity to ‘reposition’ the brand to reach our consumer in a totally different way than we are used to,” she said. “In the past, Carhartt targeted advertising in digital and print mediums, and also through our sponsorship partnerships, etc.”
Our source said that Carhartt’s integrated marketing campaign was created to reposition the brand in the national retail space, and as such, the broadcast campaign features a creative commercial that speaks to the company’s customers about Carhartt’s “rugged durability.”
“We wanted to develop a campaign that would re-focus our consumers on the brand – specifically targeting 18-to-34-year-old males,” Mueller said. “Our consumer is evolving, so we will continue to cater our messages to reach our audiences in a relevant and interesting way.”
This television commercial
spot in particular was a fun way to visually demonstrate the toughness of the Carhartt brand to its die-hard customers, and also to new customers who are just now becoming familiar with the brand and all it has to offer.
“It’s just another channel to distribute the Carhartt rugged, durability message that our brand is known for,” Mueller said. “Carhartt targets advertising in digital and print mediums that are consumer-focused and also targets sponsorship partnerships that connect our brand directly to our current consumer and future consumer.”
Social media, especially Facebook, is an extremely important marketing element that Carhartt depends on to make a big statement and to further engage customers in discussion and dialogue.
“Carhartt has a very vocal and loyal fan base,” our source said. “Since we launched our page in 2008, we have seen exponential growth in our fan base. Facebook is an important tool for Carhartt to stay connected with consumers of all ages.”
Due to competitive reasons, Mueller was unable to disclose any forward-looking information regarding the company’s overall growth plans, but did say that Carhartt does recognize that it has a huge consumer following – men and women of all ages – and hopes to further expand on this demographic as it continues to make branding changes moving forward.
“These same consumers want and have a need to wear our apparel off the job site and in many different applications of their lives, whether it be fishing, camping, chores around the house, or even a backyard BBQ,” Mueller said. “In response to this, Carhartt has slowly incorporated over time a variety of men and women’s ‘everyday casual’ styles that can be worn by our consumers on and off the job – designed with true Carhartt DNA without compromising the integrity of our apparel’s comfort, fit and durability.”
Our source reiterated that Carhartt contracted Dearborn-based Team Detroit to partner with the company on the most recent advertising campaign, but added that Carhartt does use agencies occasionally on a project basis.
“We do use agencies occasionally on a project basis and would definitely consider a longer term strategic partnership where and if it would make sense for the brand,” Mueller said.
The Nielsen Company reported that Carhartt spent about $700,000 on measured media in 2009. About $400,000 was spent on Internet radio ads, about $130,000 was spent on spot radio ads and about $100,000 was spent on B-to-B initiatives.
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