Real Men Needed To Wear Real Pants

Dockers wants young men to “wear the pants.” That’s the central message of the brand’s new campaign from Draft FCB’s San Francisco office.
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According to Stuart Elliott of The New York Times, masculine messaging is in.

The tone — half serious, half kidding, both sending up and saluting truisms about masculinity — is one that has been heard in several campaigns lately that are aimed at younger men.
For example, ads describe Mitchum deodorant as the brand “for men who like their antiperspirant the way they like their coffee — strong and under $5.” Ads for Camel Snus, a smokeless tobacco product, assert, “Be heard not herded.”
The “Dockers brand of masculinity is less about ‘Don’t eat quiche’ and more about being chivalrous and mature,” said Desmond LaVelle, senior vice president and creative director at Draft FCB San Francisco.

In other words, tough times call for real pants.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. is this a good ad? seems like they handed the planner’s brief to a graphic designer. real men don’t have to be told they’re men. corny.

  2. Glad you asked. No, it’s not a good ad. I’ve seen this exact treatment at least 100 times before.
    Having said that, I do think khakis can be cool, even though I prefer jeans. Bill’s Khakis, for instance, are pretty cool, albeit expensive.

  3. David Ogilvy, in Confessions of an Advertising Man, (an excellent work) stated the ad’s headline should get the viewer to read the body text. This ad fails that, and has no body text, anyway!
    The silhouette idea works for iPods, as the figure is clearly enjoying itself. In this case, the ad is moronic; the graphics dated—seventies, late eighties, et cetera; and the layout is for some other product!
    I am past fifty-five, but I think of Dockers as “old-man pants”. Many other folks apparently believe the same. Perhaps—I will go out on a limb here—they should tell us why their pants are such a wonderful thing that We must go out and buy them Right Now!