Kraftworks’ Appeals Skew Younger for Jantzen

NEW YORK Jantzen is ditching the silver screen image popular with the over-50 set in favor of $2 million print campaign that positions the swimwear giant as an escape hatch from work-a-day life.

Four ads from Kraftworks in New York aim to breath new life into a brand that shoppers generally identify with bathing caps and poolside Gin Rickies while introducing Jantzen’s sportswear, accessories and men’s swim lines. The new ads, marked by bright colors and a clean design, instead pursue 30- and 40-somethings who today spend more time dreaming about clear blue waters than swimming in them.

“Jantzen has a very loyal following among their traditional customers,” said agency principal Neil Kraft, who said the campaign aims to expand the brand’s target customer. “We’re not abandoning them. We feel we need to layer onto that.”

While past work for the brand, by Leopold Ketel & Partners in Portland, Ore., used models in the target age group, it retained a retro feel by using black-and-white photos and prominently featuring Jantzen’s bathing-capped diving girl icon. Kraftworks relegated the icon to a lower corner of the ads and changed the tagline from “Let’s get wet” to “Dive into life.”

In one ad, children’s feet run across a living room floor littered with toys. The copy asks, “Rush-hour traffic following you home?” Beside the photo, Jantzen suggests an alternative. Laid out against the ad’s white background is a bright red swimsuit with color-coordinated flip-flops, the diving girl and Jantzen’s new tag.

Another ad shows a garage crammed full of warm weather playthings, including a beach umbrella, bicycle and golf clubs. Copy states, “Why keep your outdoors indoors?” Next to it is a yellow-and-pink flower-patterned bikini paired with a yellow-hooded sweatshirt. One of two men’s ads shows a swimsuit and sportswear ensemble next to a picture of a man snuggled in a sleeping bag under his desk. The copy asks, “The office growing on you? Maybe a little too much?”

The effort is the Kraftworks’ first for the brand since winning the account in August 2003. The ads will run as a four-page insert in the March issue of Vogue, with spreads planned in Lucky, InStyle and Ocean Drive.

The men’s print phase breaks this week in Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue and will also appear in the March edition of Men’s Health. Outdoor ads will appear on billboards and wallscapes this May in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Atlanta.