There's logic in the approach: "By 2010, one-third of the population will be 50-plus," says Mr. Croncota. "Why would we turn away from them?" However, most apparel marketers have avoided using older characters in ads, figuring that even us boomers like to think we're still buff twenty-somethings.
Instead, he has taken the opposite tack. Under his guidance, Haggar has abandoned its previous youth-themed ad strategy and is acknowledging that Haggar is a brand for average, middle-aged men who don't read GQ and know nothing about the latest trends from Seventh Avenue.
The new strategy will be unveiled this week when Haggar launches the biggest advertising blitz in its 80-year history. Ads to run on TV, in print and online star ordinary-looking men between the ages of 30 and 45 in light-hearted situations. One pretends to advise on "throwing your daughter's boyfriend out the window," cautioning that if doing so, a man should wear a pair of Haggar pants with a Flexible Waistband. The style comes in handy "when you gotta grab a squirmy one," one of the characters says.
It will be interesting to watch the success of the campaign. And in any case, the ad and promo approach looks like fun:
As part of the campaign's antifashion theme, Haggar is financing a segment on a Fox Sports Network reality show. Eight older male models, dressed in Haggar duds, will be pitted against each other in such oddball challenges as a medieval-style joust on lawn mowers. In another challenge, "Paintball Posedown," contestants will pose as fashion models while a paintball gunman fires at them.