Nick Kroll Tries On '70s Camp For New Bonobos Ads

American men are putting their pants back on, and Bonobo's new campaign is helping them laugh their way into new chinos.

The new ads star comedian Nick ("Big Mouth") Kroll, reliving some of the cheesiest 1970s TV stereotypes. He luxuriates on silk sheets in a "call me" boudoir spoof and cheerfully leads an aerobics infomercial workout.

The campaign is a way to reconnect to its brand roots, centered on men's pants that fit great, says Tanya Malan, Bonobos' senior director of e-commerce and marketing from Bonobos.

"We knew we wanted to make a big upper funnel effort," she tells Marketing Daily, "and get our brand awareness up. We have a lot of folks who already love Bonobos, but we also know there are still many opportunities for us to get our name out there."



Comedy just seemed the obvious way to go, she says, noting, "It's been a tough few years with the pandemic. And we want to go back to that fun brand, we've always been about our quirky sense of humor and great-fitting pants."

The ads, created by Transport, push the brand's signature Stretch Washed Chino 2.0, the flagship pant that comes in various colors and five different fits.

Casting Kroll made it all come together, Malan says, noting, "He's got that joy and confidence and irreverence."

Ads are running on TV -- both linear and OTT -- and paid social media. She says the effort doesn't include Bonobos Fielder, sold at Walmart, "which we treat as a separate brand."

Walmart acquired Bonobos, which is still based in New York, in 2017.

In addition to its D2C sales, Bonobos has 60 physical stores.

Besides increased sales, she says, the hope is that the new effort can increase engagement.

"We put a bit of an Easter egg in the ad with a number to text, and within the first 24 hours, we'd given away 500 pairs of free chinos," she says.

The effort is, in a sense, an experiment: "We're trying to find that brand voice and a new way to interact with our customers on a much larger scale."

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