Garanimals Stages Comeback

NEW YORK Garanimals, the beloved children’s clothing line, is attempting to re-enter the public’s consciousness with a campaign from Gardner Nelson + Partners.

The strategy behind the relaunch is that life is very different than it was in 1972. “There’s so many pressures of growing up,” said Tom Nelson, cd at the New York agency. “We came up with the point of view that Garanimals lets kids be kids.”

Gardner created a total of three television spots, rich media banners and point-of-sale displays inside all 3,500 Wal-Marts. The commercials began running Monday on channels such as Disney, Oxygen and We.

In the 30-second “Lets Kids Be Kids,” children are shown dressed as adult stereotypes including a socialite, a preppy boater and a punk. They then switch to more age-appropriate clothing and express their dislike of dressing as adults. It ends with the tagline, “Lets kids be kids.”

The banners, as well as the point-of-sale items, depict the children from the TV spots.

Garanimals is owned by Garan, which is a Berkshire Hathaway company and only sold in Wal-Marts. While the brand has remained on store shelves since it was founded in 1972, the last time it was supported with a significant advertising campaign was in the mid-1980s. Spots from Shaller Rubin used “Wow, what a match” as a tagline.

Gardner Nelson won the account in a review last summer. The other contenders were not disclosed.

“How do you make a brand contemporary in the ’70s and ’80s contemporary today? Everyone’s saying three is the new five. What we did was say let kids be kids,” said Nelson.