Toth Portrays ‘Authentic’ Mossimo

Agency Takes Cues From Designer to Create Campaign Theme
BOSTON–What young adults want most of all these days is freedom–freedom to explore, freedom to do what they want, freedom to go.
That belief is at the heart of a repositioning effort for the Mossimo brand staged by Toth Brand Imaging, Concord, Mass. Toth was hired last year to help define the apparel maker and accessories licensee primarily to 18-24-year-olds.
To do that, agency principal Michael Toth spent time getting to know company founder, chairman and creative director Mossimo “Moss” Giannulli, who started his now publicly traded company in his garage in 1986. Toth spent days with the designer trying to find a point of view for the brand that would be “authentic.”
“What every kid wants is freedom and passion,” Toth said. “That’s all they care about. I took cues from Moss and insinuated them in this campaign. I looked to him for the reference points.”
The ad effort, touting a new fall line, consists of bus posters and double-page spreads breaking in September fashion and lifestyle magazines. Giannulli would not disclose spending levels.
The layout of each two-page ad is the same: The top one-third of the left-hand page shows a four-color photo of a ribbon of road cutting through the hills. The slant of the sun makes it look like early morning or twilight. The bottom two-thirds of the page is Massimo’s new signature logo in a square of black. On the right-hand page is a lifestyle photo of a model outfitted in Mossimo apparel in or on one of the designer’s vintage automobiles or motorcycles.
Toth himself photographed the campaign in Northern California. The campaign was shot there because “people gravitate toward California . . . We meant it more symbolically than literally,” he said.
Giannulli said in the past he has “run” from his California roots, fearful of being pegged with a surfer image.
“I need to sell clothes . . . and Michael is the best guy I’ve ever worked with,” Giannulli said.
The new line represents a return to active and casual wear and has less of the “upscale downtown kind of look” that Mossimo has gravitated toward in the past, Toth said.