O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul (OKRP) has been named creative marketing and advertising agency of record for Gildan Activewear's branded apparel business following a formal review. The incumbent agency was Devito Verdi.
Spokesperson Blake Shelton will continue to star in ads for the brand. Last year's "Epic Underwear" spot showcased his down-home personality and lack of pretension as he recommends its underwear.
The Shelton and Gildan relationship is extensive and evidently successful. Market share for the Gildan brand was up 85% in Q4 2015 thanks to his endorsements, according to company financial reports. At the end of 2015, Gildan branded underwear products were selling in approximately 18,000 retail stores. With this expanded underwear distribution footprint, Gildan continues to project total market share of 10% for its branded underwear by the end of the first half of 2016.
Looking forward, Shelton will once again be featured in a new series of ads debuting this spring, as well as in the new brand campaign launching during the 2016 holiday season.
Gildan is also sponsoring Shelton's 2016 tour and providing t-shirts for his tour dates.
“OKRP set themselves apart by their ability to translate business needs and consumer insights into a distinctive voice for our brand that we can use across all media channels,” stated Rob Packard, VP marketing, Gildan Brand. “Their passion and sense of partnership will make them a natural extension of our marketing team.”
Branded apparel is an area of focus for the apparel company as it tries to grow its awareness. Gildan is well-known for its Gold Toe sockwear, but also makes t-shirts, fleece, sport shirts, and underwear.
"We see a lot of growth as we go forward in the Gildan brand," says Glenn Chamandy, CEO, president, Gildan during a call with investors. "It's up over 30% on a year-over-year basis in [Q3 2015]. Last quarter, it was up 70%. So we're going to see continued growth in Gildan. We're committed 150,000% to continue spending and investing against our brand strategy."