Dockers’ man-ifesto gets a kick in the pants


(Click image to enlarge.) Dockers has decided to revamp its image as the preferred pants of prissy, pleated desk jockeys by issuing a "man-ifesto" on manliness, encouraging men to "wear the pants" once again, and creating a big ad campaign with print, outdoor, radio and, yes, its first Super Bowl spot since 2002. Vp of global marketing Jennifer Sey described the potential of the campaign so well in Brandweek. And I agree that "Wearing the Pants" could have been a movement. It could have been an answer to our current crisis of masculinity, a call to responsibility, decisiveness, anti-manchildness and upright citizenship. It could even have been a call for both men and women (since Dockers sells khakis to both). But looking at the manifesto and the print work, the whole thing falls flat, as they associate manliness with trite clichés. Is it any wonder they've been accused of sexism over the "wear the pants" thing? According to The New York Times, they tested the campaign to make sure women weren't offended. But if it was supposed to be "less about 'Don't eat quiche' and more about being chivalrous and mature," as Draftfcb creative director Desmond LaVelle put it, then why make fun of salad bars and lattes? I say, it's time for us all, men and women, to step up and wear the pants. But not Dockers. Let's go forth and buy Levi's other pants. You know, the manly ones that aren't khakis.

—Posted by Rebecca Cullers