Erwin Penland, L.L. Bean Take on Disposable Fashion with ‘When’

By Erik Oster 

Erwin Penland launched a new campaign for L.L. Bean, focused on the 104-year-old Freeport, Maine-based brand’s heritage. 

A broadcast spot, which will run in 30 and 15-second versions opens with a voiceover asking, “When did we stop valuing things to get better over time? When did disposable become our default?” before contrasting this with the brand and its quality guarantee.  The spot shows how the brand’s products perform on and off the trail, before inviting viewers to “Discover gear that lasts at L.L. Bean.”

The spot, which made its debut during a Boston Red Sox game yesterday, marks the beginning of the brand’s first campaign since the arrival of CEO Stephen Smith from Walmart earlier this year. It also follows Erwin Penland’s promotions of Con Williamson and Allen Bosworth to roles as co-presidents with the departure of Joe Saracino for Chick-Fil-A in February. Digital and social initiatives support the broadcast effort.

Erwin Penland managing director Kat Shafer told AdAge that while the brand has played up its guarantee in advertising before, it did so in a much softer way. “They saw this as an opportunity to put a stake in the ground and really elevate the guarantee against that disposable mentality that society has come to accept” she said.