Dockers Dons A New Lifestyle Image, Logo

Levi Strauss & Co.’s Dockers today breaks the first television spot of its fall “Dress to live” campaign from Foote Cone & Belding, which repositions Dockers as a head-to-toe lifestyle brand rather than just “nice pants,” the client said.

The 30-second spot, “Hello Trolley,” was shot along San Francisco’s Embarcadero waterfront and filmed from both male and female points of view, featuring men’s and women’s clothing.

Created by Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding San Francisco office, the campaign also introduces Dockers’ new logo: Dockers San Francisco. The company chose the name to reflect what it calls “a feel-good, look-good approach rooted in the essence of San Francisco’s stylish-but-not-stiff way of dressing.”

The campaign also marks the retirement of the decade-long tagline “Nice pants,” which is being replaced with “Dress to live,” said Bill Stewart, Dockers’ vp of marketing. The effort includes TV and print advertising and a redesigned Web site, the client said.

“Hello Trolley” breaks on Comedy Central, USA, FX, VH1 and TBS Superstation, as well as cable sports, including ESPN, ESPN2 and NFL on Fox Sports and CBS.

The “his” version of the spot opens as two trolleys sit side-by-side in the station, waiting for their departure in opposite directions. While stopped, a man and woman catch each others’ eye and are intrigued. Inspired by a spontaneous spirit, the man dashes off to his trolley at the last minute in an attempt to meet the woman in the next car. He misses her trolley and stands on the platform, deflated. The next instant, after both trolleys have left the station, he looks up to see the woman standing on her platform. She had the same idea. The perspective is reversed in “her” version.

Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux performs the accompanying song, “Don’t Wait Too Long.” Lyrics speak to what agency executives call the “carpe diem” theme of the spot: “Take a chance/Play your part. Make romance/It might break your heart. But if you think that time will change your ways, don’t wait too long.”

Whereas the “Nice pants” tagline positioned Dockers as a men’s casual wear company, the new campaign’s goal is to show that Dockers has evolved beyond nice pants for men to an all-inclusive lifestyle for both men and women, the client said. Focus groups revealed that consumers were not aware that Dockers sold a whole line of clothing, such as neckties, belts, sweaters and shoes.

The campaign is a $40 million effort, sources said. Dockers, based in San Francisco, spent $15 million from January to June 2005, and $35 million in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Levi Strauss’ second-quarter 2005 net sales were down 1.6 percent compared to the second quarter of 2004, to $944 million from $959 million. The company said the decline was due to streamlining the U.S. Levi’s and Dockers products, decreased sales of Dockers women’s products in the U.S. and lower sales in Europe.

Print ads, which broke in September issues of publications such as GQ, Men’s Health and Esquire, show images of Dockers-clad men and women in such activities as playing football and walking the dog.

This repositioning also includes adding the text “Men Women Home” to show that the brand includes a full line of men’s and women’s wear and accessories, such as luggage and handbags, as well as home products.

“For a while, we were playing to the guys-club. Women weren’t in the room,” said Brian Bacino, cd on the campaign. “Now it’s like a cocktail party, and everyone is there.”