In the hopes that it can encourage American men to pull up their pants and ditch their XXL t-shirts, Van Heusen is introducing an "Institute of Style."
A partnership with GQ and ESPN, the effort hopes to challenge men to step up their style game, and even share their transformation in a "From Schlub to Swagger" contest on the campaign's Web site.
The problem, the company says, is that while 85% of the men it surveyed think they have style, the majority of women beg to differ. Specifically, women think men need help getting rid of baggy pants and shirts, and that men need help with fit as well as style. And the men surveyed did concede that they might be in need of a style upgrade, and some help finding more up-to-date clothing.
"We've been a trusted brand for men for almost a century and through this new campaign we have the opportunity to further our dialogue with men and become an even greater authority and resource for style," PVH Corp. says in its release, adding that it will support the contest with on-air, print, online and outdoor media, including a full-page color ad slated for The New York Times on Oct. 3, as well as a 60 x 80 foot billboard in Times Square.
The campaign also includes interactive elements that allow men to experiment with looks for a job interview, a first date and meeting the future in-laws, as well as enter a Super Bowl XLVI contest.
The winner -- chosen by Pro Football Hall of Famers Steve Young, Jerry Rice and newcomer Deion Sanders, who will appear in the ads, as well as style experts from Van Heusen, GQ, and ESPN The Magazine -- gets to take four pals to the Big Game in Indianapolis in February 2012 (via a G4.) Once there, they'll attend parties, get a complete style makeover, and watch the game in a suite with the three Hall of Famers.
In addition to Van Heusen, PVH also owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, as well as IZOD and ARROW.