AG Gets Today’s Man

Peter Arnell’s refocusing of AG as a brand consultancy has begun paying dividends with the win of the $13 million Today’s Man account. New TV and print ads for the beleaguered retailer broke last week.
Today’s Man, which emerged from bankruptcy protection in 1997, has since gone through four different ad shops. With sales down 8 percent in the second quarter and hot competitors such as The Men’s Wearhouse grabbing attention, vice president of advertising Matt Golonka admits the brand is in trouble.
“Those who shop us love us, but those who don’t, don’t know who we are,” he said. Plus, TM is perceived as a discounter. “We want to abandon that in favor of quality first, price second,” he added. “It was a branding issue.”
Golonka met four other New York agencies: Badger Worldwide, Graj + Gustavsen, Shahid & Co. (Abercrombie & Fitch’s shop) and The Bureaux, plus some design specialists. But he was particularly impressed by AG’s past work for DKNY and Banana Republic.
The new campaign, which starts with four TV ads and is tagged, “Suit up,” speaks to a customer who “understands optimism, the human potential, and it carries an external message–things are changing,” said Arnell.
Initial spots use white words on black backgrounds and iconic diagrams of suits. One ad states, “Casual Friday is for guys who have nothing better to do that night.” Following ads will show closeups of male models pulling on sharp-looking jackets.