New National Maidenform Campaign 'Feels Right'

Maidenform Brands will launch its new national advertising campaign for 2008 under the tag "This feels right."

The effort, launching next Tuesday, comprises print, digital and out-of-home. The campaign is via agency-of-record for the past year, Portland, Maine-based The VIA Group, which won the account last June. The agency's Boston office handles the account.

With the theme line "Out With the Old. In With the New," the effort initially touts the brand's new Breakthrough Backless Bra, which got national exposure--so to speak--when it was revealed (ahem) on ABC's "American Inventor" in 2006. The bra was invented by Elaine Cato of Chicago, who appeared on ABC-TV's "American Inventor" with the device, and was a runner-up.

"We chose to launch the campaign with the Breakthrough Backless bra in order to illustrate how Maidenform has evolved and changed along with women and their needs," says Sally Skidmore, VP/marketing and advertising at Maidenform Brands.

She says the brand tone will reinforce that message on both an emotional and psychological level by focusing on women's strength, joy and confidence--"issues that that are broader than body image."



Greg Smith, chief creative officer, The VIA Group, says the campaign is a complete shift from efforts of yore. "This is a complete evolution in both creative and message. We are positioning Maidenform as a lifestyle brand for today's woman," he says. "The product is still prominent in the creative but the spirit is more emotional--connecting with women across generations in a very creative, fearless and sustained way."

Smith says the target is women 20-35, "but Maidenform's products are suitable for women of any age."

He says Maidenform creates a new marketing program each year. "The campaign that Maidenform and VIA have created is part of a long-term program designed to elevate Maidenform as a lifestyle brand-building on their history of introducing innovative products with breakthrough marketing."

Maidenform says the Backless Bra is the first such product ever to be brought to mass market. The bra works with silicon wire channeling that prevents slippage. The product has also gotten promotional mileage on shows like "The Today Show" and "Rachael Ray."

Maidenform will promote several other products this year with the new campaign, according to the company. Last year, Maidenform introduced the Smooth Bra line of products, intended to eliminate seams and rolls around the bra's back strap.

The campaign also comprises print ads that will run in lifestyle, fashion and general interest books like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, People en Español and InStyle. The digital campaign will appear in venues such as, in addition to women's lifestyle, fashion, entertainment and celebrity portals.

The Bayonne, N.J. company is also running an outdoor campaign that features billboards along a heavy trafficked highway in New York City and locker room installations at specific health clubs in San Francisco and New York.

Hoover's subsidiary First Research sees low-cost production from countries like China limiting possibilities for U.S. makers. The firm sees output of U.S. apparel manufacturing, including knit and sewn apparel and accessories, slipping 1.1% between 2007 and 2012. Maidenform posted sales of $417 million for fiscal 2007.

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