Cool And Committed

Zero Base Backing Apparel With A Message
CHICAGO–Zero Base Advertising in Dublin, Ohio, is doing more than just creating advertising for startup apparel company Zero Casualties.
The agency is functioning as a business consultant and de facto marketing department for the Columbus, Ohio, company because, said Zero Base vice president Scott Elser, it believes in the product and the message behind it.
The Zero Casualties product line includes caps, jackets, shirts and pants designed to appeal to urban teens. But, said Elser, the brand name refers to the company’s commitment to ending violence in inner-city neighborhoods. To that end, the company is pledging to return 7 percent of profits from its apparel to urban programs dedicated to ending violence.
The Foot Locker and Champs retail chains have signed on to carry the apparel, and others are being courted. Print ads from Zero Base, running in September issues of Source, XXL and Blaze magazines, are intended to build consumer demand and bring in additional retailers, Elser said.
“Be remembered as a hero to the community. Not a chalk outline,” reads the headline on one of three ads. Copy outlines the company’s 7 percent commitment and directs readers to its Internet site (, which Zero Base is helping to develop.
The clothes are cool, Elser said, “but the message behind the clothes is cooler.”