Hoping to Keep Cool, Dickie Widens Aim

Avril Lavigne has worn Dickies. So have Britney Spears and Jack Osbourne. But while Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Co. welcomes its cachet with the teenage set, the workclothes manufacturer will avoid targeting the group directly as it makes its first significant effort to reach Hispanics.

“We think it’s an age group that is very sensitive to being marketed to, and in fact, if we were to chase the market, they would run away,” said Bob Scott, svp of marketing and merchandising at Fort Worth, Texas-based Dickie, which last week awarded its Hispanic business to independent shop The Cartel Group in San Antonio.

Dickie has had to find ways of keeping an “anti-brand” positioning among teens while touting its equity as a trusted outfitter of the American workman, Scott said.

Cartel will aim a spring effort at the 35- to 49-year-old “journeyman tradesman”—an established worker perceived by younger Hispanics as an expert. The work will mirror general-market ads, handled in-house.

Cartel bested Publicis Groupe’s Bromley Communications and independent Inventiva, both in San Antonio, for the business, the client said. The company spent $4 million on advertising last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.