Amazon.com’s ‘Sweatermen’ Return for an Encore

Amazon.com, online shopping pioneer and one of the few large Internet brands still going strong after the dot-com shakeup, is rolling out the singing Sweatermen again for the holidays.

The five-spot push from FCB Worldwide in San Francisco marks the return of the campy clone group introduced last year as a nod to the old 1960s Burbank Studios TV programs such as The Mitch Miller Show and The Lawrence Welk Show.

“We love the Sweatermen because they harken back to a simple era when things were less complicated,” said Becky Roberts, Amazon’s global marketing chief. “They’re earnest, approachable and welcoming.”

This year, the Sweatermen sing about how easy it is to shop for gifts online and the variety of toys available at Amazon.com.

“Last year was the Sweatermen’s big debut, so this is the year they’ve come into their own, allowing us to put them in funnier situations and push their role as singing salesman without ever winking or losing authenticity,” FCB creative director Tom O’Keefe said.

As was the case last year, the spots have an amateurish look to them. Each of the Sweatermen—most of them middle-aged and many of them balding—is wearing the requisite cheap sweater and plain pants.

In one spot, titled “EMAHTSKCBVDT,” the Sweatermen sing a ditty in which they name all the merchandise categories available in the online superstore. Throughout the song, they also manage to sing the fake word of the spot’s title.

Creatives said the Sweatermen were quirky and authentic enough to deserve another run. “They’re like official holiday personalities now, and what keeps them funny and fresh is they’re still not in on the joke,” creative director Matt Reinhard said.

The spots broke Nov. 20 and will air nationally through Dec. 17. A budget was not disclosed. The Sweatermen will also appear on Amazon’s Web site and in theme merchandise.