Traditional Family Man? Bonobos Offers New Definition

Bonobos, the Walmart-owned men’s apparel company, hopes to shake up traditional values with a holiday campaign focused on different types of families.

The vignettes include actual families, like a single dad and his daughter and a gay couple, as well as work families, like a group of firefighters and steakhouse employees.

“It all centers around this ‘Fit for All’ positioning of ours, and the idea of creating a world where we all fit,” says Colleen Conkling, senior director of brand marketing and PR. She says the ads are a continuation of the company's campaign to encourage people to #EvolveTheDefinition of masculinity, launched last summer.



“We knew we had to keep that conversation going, so this is the next chapter. We wanted to disrupt what people think of as the traditional family man, and the traditional family,” she says, adding, that "the whole thrust of the campaign is families are sometimes chosen, and not necessarily inherited.” 

Conkling says the campaign is also part of the company's push to build a more authentic, values-driven relationship with consumers. To that end, she says it was important to find brand partners who are “people we want our customers to be like, not just look like,” she tells Marketing Daily.

So Bonobos is working with the Good+ Foundation’s Fatherhood Project, which aims to help men play a bigger role in kids’ loves, as well as Career Gear, which helps low-income guys look sharp on job interviews. And it teamed up with Fatherly, which is producing content linked to the campaign and its causes.

(Those who donate toys, books and gently used professional clothing at a Bonobos Guidestore location get $20 off a pair of pants.)

The campaign is running on its owned channels, paid media, banners ads and on mobile. 

Conkling says the company expects to continue these types of stories in the year ahead, beginning in February. “We will be celebrating women’s month in a big way."

Earlier this year, the company that built its reputation on slim-fitting jeans favored by even-slimmer millennials expanded its offerings, launching extended sizing. “And you’ll see us do more with that,” she says, “adding innovation and talking more about it to a broader audience. We are very committed to creating a world where we all fit.”

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