Why Droga5 Thinks Its Jockey Campaign Could Last for a Decade

Planting a flag and 'Supporting greatness'

IDEA: What would Buzz Aldrin do? It depends on his underwear.

He did impressive things in the '60s while wearing Jockey briefs—walking on the moon, for one. But imagine what he'd conquer today in more modern undergarments.

Droga5 does just that in its first work for the brand. A new campaign focuses on the 138-year-old company's two big market differentiators—its product quality and its long, rich history—by telling true stories, with hyperbolic twists, of famous American men who wore the brand. (Babe Ruth and George S. Patton are the other heroes in the launch phase.)

In the first 30-second spot, Aldrin (portrayed by a sprightly guy in a spacesuit) is comically seen planting the American flag in all sorts of planets while swatting aliens and asteroids aside. It's a fun way to meld past and present—to show the brand was reliable and relevant then, and is even more so today.

"We're targeting millennials, and what we found is they appreciated the historical angle," said Dustin Cohn, CMO at Jockey International. "There's an honesty to this approach that really makes us look modern and contemporary and cool."

COPYWRITING: "Jockey has supported legends like General Patton, Babe Ruth and Buzz Aldrin, who went to the moon," the voiceover begins, as we see images of the heroes in floating panels, like the beginning of a History Channel show. "But imagine if Buzz had worn today's Jockey underwear. He would have planted the flag on all the planets, giving America dibs on the entire Milky Way."

We see him doing just that in a series of alien landscapes, from frozen to volcanic. "That's because Jockey is quality crafted to last longer, guaranteed," the narrator continues, over a rotating, stomach-to-thighs demo shot of a man in Jockey briefs.

In the final shot, Aldrin javelins the flag into snowy ground as the voice speaks the on-screen tagline, "Supporting greatness."

"We're really happy with those two words," said Droga5 chief creative officer Ted Royer. "It says we were supporting greatness in the past. It's also about greatness in the underwear category, and that we also support everybody throughout their day. There's a lot of room for fun and putting yourself into it … We love the line as the flag that Jockey can fly from the top of their building."

"Consumers got the triple entendre," said Cohn. "Literally, that we have a great product. Emotionally, that we've supported great men. And functionally, that our features and benefits support our great quality."

ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Smuggler's Guy Shelmerdine, a master of both humor and visual style, directed. "We wanted it to be silly but also beautiful," Royer said. "When you look at the ice planet, for example. There's Buzz in the foreground saying, 'Dagnabbit!' But behind him is this sweeping vista. Which we think is exactly the right kind of humor. It's awesome and completely silly."

The planet scenes are a mix of live action and computer graphics. "The incredibly hokey-looking alien is real, not CG, if you can believe it," joked Royer.

"This tone and sense of humor is in keeping with what we've done for decades," said Cohn. "It isn't slapstick or silly or juvenile in any way."

TALENT: The voiceover is patriotic yet tongue in cheek. "It's homespun and the voice of someone you'd want to hear a story from, but it had to be clear and not crazy," Royer said.

SOUND: The sound is also high-low—inspiring music punctuated by goofy sound design. "Karate chops on the asteroids, which is like a bad kung fu movie, which we love," said Royer. "Or when the alien gets punched in the face—that's actually Ryan Raab, the writer, making the squealing alien noise. At this point, the History Channel show has gone totally off the rails."

MEDIA: The spot broke last Monday on ESPN's Monday Night Football and will run on cable, supported by print and what Royer said will be "really great in-store and even some new product ideas." The agency is planning to produce Ruth and Patton spots, too.

"We think this campaign could go for 10 years or more," said Royer. Added Cohn: "We're committed to this campaign beyond one season and beyond one year, for that matter." 




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