Men's Wearhouse: Not Your Father's Suit
Looking to change the idea that being or wearing a “suit” is a somehow undesirable quality, Men’s Wearhouse is targeting a younger, hipper client in a new advertising campaign that encourages young men to show off their inherent, individual styles.
The new national television and online effort encourages men to “Suit Yourself” with fashion tips, brand names and modern tailoring that help them express their individual styles. The effort taps into what the company calls a growing trend of younger men starting to incorporate more “suit elements” into their everyday attire.
“Younger men are paying more attention to their personal style and how they present themselves. They understand that what they wear says a lot about who they are,” Matt Stringer, senior vice president of marketing at Men’s Wearhouse, tells Marketing Daily. “With this campaign we want to re-introduce them to our stores and our selection of styles so they feel confident knowing they’re going to find the pieces that help them create the look they want.”
One commercial features chain chairman (and longtime brand spokesman) George Zimmer in a more relaxed setting (driving a car, as opposed to sitting in a chair talking to the camera), explaining this new style. “Traditionally, when we say he’s a ‘suit,’ we think of a certain type of guy: bankers, lawyers, chairmen of boards. People like me,” Zimmer says, over images of stodgy, balding and gray-haired men wearing three-piece suits. As the images change to younger, hipper men, Zimmer continues: “But now the ones wearing the suits are the digital guys, the creative, the change agents,” he says. “Because today, you don’t have to be one [a suit], to wear one,” Zimmer concludes before ushering the brand’s famous line: “You’re gonna like the way you look.”
Despite aiming at a new target, the company never considered altering the familiar tagline, Stringer says. “We actually think that the current tagline ties in nicely with the ‘Suit Yourself’ campaign,” he says. “For us, the tagline is a strong statement that supports and reinforces the overall ideas of the campaign of self-expression and confidence.”
Other spots feature Zimmer talking about how the suit styles have changed to meet a younger aesthetic. Jackets are shorter, the lapels are narrower, etc. “Part of it is the cut of the man himself,” Zimmer says (imagery in the spot includes one young man fixing his tie as a tattoo peeks out above his collar).
“Effectively, we want to create a dialogue with the viewer and invite them to express their individual style so we can in turn communicate how we can help them,” Stringer says. “It’s about how you wear a suit today and how that makes you feel. And then ultimately for the individual what they do with that feeling of self-worth. It’s those emotions that we ultimately wanted to capture with the overall theme of the campaign.”
The commercials direct viewers to a newly redesigned Web site, www.menswearhouse.com/suityourself, which will showcase some of the looks featured in the campaign and showcase other styles. The company is also using Facebook to encourage men to upload photos and videos showing off their personal style. Those looks will be incorporated into future promotional videos.