Despite War, Lycra Launches Print Campaign

War didn't stop the launch of DuPont's $40 million "ingredient brand" campaign for Lycra this week.

But then again it couldn't, spokeswoman Sheila Robinson told MediaPost, because the spring portion of the campaign is going into magazines, many of them monthlies. The TV component, under the slogan Lycra "Has It" is due this fall.

The campaign has separate consumer and business components, both done by McCann Erickson, New York. A redesign of DuPont's Lycra.com website, built around the campaign, has already been completed.

Katie Peabody, who headed the McCann creative team on the consumer ads with Peter Barba, said the point of the ads is that "when you're wearing clothes with Lycra you have a confidence that the clothes look better, and more confidence in yourself."

A slight change in the Lycra logo is featured in the new ads, a curved bottom for the Lycra triangle Peabody called "the wave."

One big feature of the b2b campaign is a sourcing service called BrandScan designed to assure manufacturers that the fabric they're buying has genuine Lycra in it.

The b2b ads feature models dressed as bad imitators like a black male Marilyn Monroe (complete with blonde wig), an Asian Elvis impersonator, and a Rambo-like character holding a water gun.

Manufacturers can associate themselves with the campaign using clothes tags reading "Lycra" on one side and "Has It" (in several languages) on the other.

WWD's March issue, for instance, featured the pitch that "Millions of consumers will be looking for Lycra. Will you have it?" This ad also boxed the consumer pitch, Robinson said, with models wearing form-fitting clothes behind the block headline "HAS IT."

The consumer component of the campaign launched in magazines like Marie Claire, Robinson said. The TV ads will run under the tag line, "You either have it or you don't," featuring clothes made with Lycra sewn into popular fabrics like cotton and linen. Swimsuits will be featured in the spring fashion magazines, Robinson said.

May issues of Glamour and Lucky will also feature the new campaign said a McCann spokesman.

McCann has already tested the campaign with almost 2,000 consumers around the world, Robinson added. "We had several different campaigns we did in front of them. Since it's global we did global consumer research, and we have a very, very positive response to the campaign."

The goal is to make Lycra a "component brand" like "Intel Inside," Robinson noted, with participation from the entire channel from manufacturers to retailers to consumers.

"Our goal is to illustrate to our industry that we are the market maker," concluded Robinson, and to associate the ingredient brand in consumers' minds with comfort and freedom of movement, making that a major benefit of any garment whose manufacturer participates in the campaign.