Sporting A New Outfit: Red Ball Revamps A Clothing Chain’s Image

Red Ball Tiger here has completed six new TV spots for Fremont, Calif.-based apparel retailer The Men’s Wearhouse. The ads continue a campaign begun earlier this year that attempts to refute common “myths” about the men’s clothing chain and spiff up the image of its chief executive officer, George Zimmer.
For years, Zimmer used a car salesman’s style to advertise his national chain. He became a celebrity of sorts with his routine of pointing toward the camera and promising low prices with the phrase, “I guarantee it.”
“The interesting thing about The Men’s Wearhouse is that the quality of clothing and service is much better than what past advertising communicated,” said Cliff Scott, Red Ball’s strategic director. “Our job was to [match] perception with reality.”
One spot, “Toupee,” is devoted to “Myth #2: George wears a rug.” Seated on a couch, Zimmer points to his hair and says, “One question I get a lot is about this up here. ‘Is it real?'” Scenes from an old ad appear, showing an animated Zimmer–with a thick head of hair–talking to the camera. The spot cuts back, and Zimmer says, “I can see why you’d wonder.” He then assures viewers that his hair is indeed real.
“To evolve the perception of George from pitchman to who he really is, we needed to give The Men’s Wearhouse a personality that could be embraced by more people,” said Greg Wilson, Red Ball’s creative director. “Fortunately, George didn’t mind poking a little fun at himself.”
Billings for The Men’s Wearhouse account are estimated at $30-35 million. The size of Red Ball Tiger’s total billings portfolio nearly tripled when the 3-year-old agency landed the business in May.
The agency will soon launch a radio campaign.