Dickies TV Only Looks Young

Client Forsakes Hip in Returning Workwear to Blue-Collar Ethic
DALLAS–Williamson-Dickie, the maker of traditional denim workwear, has returned to the airwaves with its first major television spot in a decade, in a bid to appeal to two widely divergent target markets.
Developed by the Fort Worth, Texas company’s in-house agency, Reel FX Creative Studios, the 30-second spot is an energetic montage of industrial scenes presented as a paean to the blue-collar working class.
While obviously targeting construction workers and the like, the spot’s techno music and photo-realistic animation are also geared to appeal to a younger demographic that wears Dickies clothing less for its practicality than for its post-modern chic.
Nevertheless, the new campaign’s emphasis is on the authenticity of the working man’s brand.
Said Reel FX creative director Mark Krauter, “Dickies . . . had gone down a couple of roads that didn’t play out, into the so-called street-wear popular with skaters and youth. The decision was made to get back to our roots and eliminate products from our line that didn’t fit with workwear.”
“Of course people wear our clothes for all kinds of reasons,” Krauter continued. “But our
decision is to market it as workwear. People can buy us for their own reasons.”
Part of the difficulty Dickies encountered marketing to youth is that the company’s research showed young people were suspicious of products aimed at them. “They don’t want to be a target. They’re looking for the real thing,” said Krauter.
The television commercial will air in selected U.S. regional markets. A simultaneous print campaign will appear in magazines such as Journal of Light Construction, North American Hunter and National Hog Farmer, to name a few titles.
Said Jon Ragsdale, vice president of marketing services and general manager of core workwear at the client: “For a number of years we fragmented our dollars just trying to put our name out there. But what we’ve become aware of is Dickies already has high awareness and it makes sense to target markets where we have real impact.”
Radio and outdoor advertising components will be handled by the company’s Dallas agency, Flowers & Fedele.