09 November 2006

Haggar ads paint middle-aged as the 'new young'

Haggar has a new campaign. Read about it in Suzanne Vranica's syndicated WSJ article:
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 casual men's clothing maker is recognizing that many of its customers are in their 50s and 60s. "Our guy is the baby-boomer guy," says Croncota, adding that past attempts to woo young men were a "stretch."
Actually, the campaign targets middle-class men in the 30-45 age range - which is fine. Not many Baby Boomers in that demographic - which is also fine. But there also aren't that many men in the demographic, which isn't also fine.

Watch the commercials on the Haggar web site.

The ads have the sensibility of twenty/thirtysomething creatives. They're funny, sort of outrageous, cute, unfortunately a bit patronizing - and probably won't resonate with Baby Boomers over forty-five. That's because the spots have that Married with Children/King of the Hill lowest common denominator feel. (While I got a big kick out of Married with Children, I don't remember ever wanting to wear Al Bundy's pants and shirts.)

Add to this the Boomer grandparent ethos. Not too many are still parents of teenagers, or have antipathy towards children and teenagers today. If anything, they are doing everything in their power to befriend and influence Millennials. I blogged about this earlier. Here's a quote from a recent article in The Houston Chronicle:
"Boomers think their grandkids are too programmed, and they're looking to stir things up."
Does Haggar really want to make a truly outrageous, slaphappy spot that would resonate with Baby Boomers? How about a scenario where overbearing, addled-brained parents are telling their two kids what to think, what to do - silly, pointless advice - and have a youngish (late 40s, early 50s) grandfather and his buddy throw the parents out the window - to the delight of their grandchildren.

Haggar and their ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky are right about one thing: long form commercials are the way to go to reach Baby Boomers. I talk about this in my book. Read a few chapters on The Advertising Educational Foundation web site - and find out my take on how Haggar and other companies should be producing commercials targeting Baby Boomers.

Follow-up Post: Haggar Redux Haggar's 'Making Things Right' campaign has the ad bloggers and others buzzing.

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