Hanes Uses Destruction to Send Soft Message

Yeah, Hanes undies are cuddly, but the best way to get that message across to an audience of Millennial men, the company decided, was to blow stuff up. A new video campaign from 360i says that the ComfortBlend line of crew, v-neck, brief and boxer briefs can “soften the blow.”

The agency created the character of Al Lenderson, a guy who tries to illustrate ComfortBlend’s cushiness with destructive scenarios such as catapulting a Ming vase toward a target of t-shirts or dropping a piano on a violin swathed in briefs. The four original web videos live on Hanes’ YouTube channel. B-Reel was the production company.

“We were trying to always introduce products that are making people more comfortable in big or small ways. Soften the Blow is a fun, and humorous way to engage them and say to them that Hanes — and particularly the ComfortBlend product line — is incredibly soft,” says David Robertson, director of marketing at Hanes.

He noted that video consumption has grown dramatically in the past year, and it’s even higher among the young male target demographic.

To promote the videos, 360i created a 19-second ad and bought pre-rolls through YouTube, Tremor Video and Visible Measures, targeting via demographics and key words. Spark handled media.

Hanes also has a Facebook page with 2.5 million fans that it’s using to promote the campaign to fans. Paid Facebook ads will promote to non-fans on the network.

Hanes is also advertising ComfortBlend with TV ads with a more traditional product benefits approach, and it’s partnering with retailers for promotion in stores. Soften the Blow will run through June, and there will be other digital campaigns throughout the year to refresh the messaging.

“We are taking it from engagement and getting into consideration all the way to conversion at retail,” Robertson says. Acknowledging that it’s very difficult to connect a video campaign to actual sales, he says that the company will do custom research to measure changes in awareness and intent to buy. “We think it’s very important to measure the results of what we’ve done, so we can learn and improve.”

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Overhead view of a row of four business people interviewing a young male applicant.