Fallon McElligott’s $3-5 Mil. Print Campaign Takes Lee’s ‘New Look’ Beyond Casual Fridays

NEW YORK-Aiming to reach comfort-minded women between 25 and 49 years old, VF Corp.’s Lee Co. unit is putting $3-5 million in print advertising behind its newest line, Casuals.
Beginning next month, ads from Lee agency Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis will hit USA Today and 10 women’s consumer and entertainment magazines, including Self, Entertainment Weekly and Parents. The campaign is expected to continue next year and will likely be expanded to include a pullout booklet in fashion books.
The creative work expresses a contemporary fashion feel with its “Makes any situation comfortable” headline and “The new look of Lee” tagline. In each of four executions, designed to run on consecutive pages in the magazines, the Casuals wearer is seen handling a stressful moment, such as fleeing the bulls at Pamplona or finding oneself on a nude beach.
Rolled out this fall, Lee Casuals is a khaki-based line similar to Dockers or Liz Claiborne. It is currently sold in moderate to upper-tier department stores and will reach May Co. and Federated stores early next year. The ads, loosely targeted at 25- to 49-year-olds, are intended to reach busy women, such as those who balance work and family.
“This category has been pretty fragmented,” said Janet Kelly, manager of public relations, promotions and special events at Merriam, Kan.-based Lee. “So there’s an opportunity to emerge as a leader.”
Lee coined the term “AnyWear Casual” to describe the line, which was designed to capture the evolution from business casual to everyday, everywhere clothing. “Women don’t want to feel over- or underdressed in a situation,” Kelly said. “They want clothes that can fit in anywhere.”
Lee addressed the casual trend last summer through “10 Easy Pieces,” a videotape that showed women how to mix and match Lee products.