No Crocodile Tears for Lacoste: New Ads Rebuild Brand Identity

Sportswear marketer Lacoste launches its first U.S. brand-building campaign with a series of print ads from recently appointed U.S. agency of record Perich + Partners in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Lacoste, a wholly owned subsidiary of Devanlay SA, Troyes, France, picked Perich in May for the assignment, estimated to be worth $2-5 million. The assignment includes print creative, as well as media planning and buying in the U.S. Lacoste is looking to expand its presence in the U.S.
The company recently opened its eighth American Lacoste boutique in Las Vegas. Perich has retail support experience working for both Harman International, an audio equipment marketer, and the national Borders Books & Music chain.
The first print ad appeared in W, but the real push comes in the October issue of high-end fashion and lifestyle publications, said Ernie Perich, agency president and founder.
The branding campaign features close-up photographs of the company’s signature sport shirt, which emphasizes the famous Lacoste crocodile logo.
Lacoste ended a joint licensing agreement with Philips-Van Heusen Corp.’s Izod unit and the campaign strives in part to explain that and establish the brand’s independence.
“The intent is to show that Lacoste is back, in vogue and as good as it ever was,” said Perich.
The single-page ads are very clean with minimal copy, said Perich account executive Kraig Pendleton. Each features a headline underneath the crocodile, with an explanatory block of copy below. One ad features the headline “Our name is no 4-letter word.” The copy reads, “Especially not one beginning in I, ending in D with ZOO minus O in the middle. The name is Lacoste. D’accord?”
The campaign also asserts the brand’s long history in Europe. Another execution features the headline “Remember Me?” with copy explaining, “In Europe, I’ve been all the rage since ’33. In America, however, cheap impostors have been stealing my thunder. Not anymore. I’m back in the U.S. and I answer only to one name: Lacoste.”