New Hanes Campaign Touts Its Eco-Friendliness


Hanes is launching a new marketing campaign touting its green efforts.

The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company has created a new consumer Web site that includes the 30-second TV spot "Future Generations." The ad, which will begin airing during the week of April 5, focuses on the brand's environmental responsibility efforts, including eco-friendly products.

The TV spot will air during prime-time shows such as "American Idol," the spring premiere of "Glee," and "Modern Family." It features a man wearing eco-friendly Hanes products while shopping. The viewer quickly learns that he is doing his small part to keep the planet green for future generations.

His friend, who is not wearing Hanes products, is the victim of disapproving glares from children in the mall, as they recognize that he is not doing his part to ensure a greener future for them.



The ad touts Hanes new EcoSmart Fleece apparel, made in part from recycled plastic bottles. Hanes will reuse the equivalent of 25 million plastic bottles for its fleece products in 2010, according to the company. In addition, Hanes EcoSmart Socks are made with 55% recycled cotton fiber, and the fabric in 67% of Hanes men's and boys' undershirts is made using renewable energy.

At, visitors can learn more about the brand's environmental responsibility effort and get ideas on how they can take small steps toward making more responsible environmental decisions.

Businesses are entering a new era of green marketing that will focus less on companies' own environmental credentials and instead seek to promote the way in which products can help customers reduce their carbon impact, according to James Murray, of

"Consumers no longer care about how green a company you are," said Solitaire Townsend, founder of sustainable communications consultancy Futerra, during a recent marketing conference. "They want to know how you can help them be greener ... building in customer behavior change will become increasingly important for brands."

Hanes products are in nearly nine out of 10 U.S. households, and research shows that consumers want to buy products from companies they believe are environmentally responsible, says Sidney Falken, senior vice president, Hanes brand.

"We want to share what we've been doing in the area of environmental responsibility because it's important to us that our customers feel even better about purchasing Hanes products, knowing that the brand they've known and trusted for generations is taking steps to help ensure a greener future for generations to come," Falken says in a release.

Larry Chiagouris, a marketing professor at Pace University, thinks Hanes is off-message with the effort and will probably not sell very many additional T-shirts as a result of this campaign.

"Hanes does not spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising each year, and so any time it creates another point of contact, that point of contact should be on message," Chiagouris tells Marketing Daily. "Hanes has been known for comfort, and if it wanted to do something socially responsible, it would have been better off staying on message. Perhaps providing clothing to the homeless to make them more comfortable would have been a better idea."

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