VF’s Wrangler Hero Taps AOL Time Warner for Campaign

Clothing manufacturer VF Jeanswear will try and get more men into denim, through an advertising effort that will reach out to middle-American families on AOL Time Warner properties.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based company, a unit of apparel giant VF Corp., aims to boost the appeal of its Wrangler Hero jeans by celebrating American families and capitalizing on the popularity of stock car racing. The two will combine in a marketing push that will see ads appear on the New York media giant’s online and offline properties.

Specifically, advertising from Wrangler Hero’s “As Real As Wrangler” campaign will appear in print properties like Sports Illustrated, on AOL’s TNT cable channel, and on NASCAR.com, a joint service of AOL Time Warner’s Turner Productions and NASCAR.

The buy also includes sponsorship of a co-branded NASCAR.com’s “Real American Families of NASCAR” area, which will also appear on AOL’s TV, print and other Internet properties. Additionally, NASCAR.com will run a Wrangler-sponsored contest, in which racing fans can enter for a chance to attend racing events.

Wrangler Hero is also launching an online charity auction for a custom-made Jeep Wrangler. The auction will run on the America Online service and on Web auction site eBay.

The media plan was put together by Wrangler’s media agency, Chicago-based CIA.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. While it’s likely not a staggering media buy, AOL Time Warner said the deal was important because it shows the ease of which media planners can put together a multi-channel campaign using just AOL.

“Wrangler is a great consumer brand, and this agreement is a clear example of AOL Time Warner’s ability to craft targeted marketing campaigns for partners across our wide variety of print, TV and online resources and help them drive growth for their products,” said AOL Time Warner co-chief operating officer Bob Pittman.

Naturally, that’s a scary fact of life for independent online, print and broadcast outlets. But for media buyers, it’s a positive development, according to Wrangler ad director Craig Errington.

“Working with AOL Time Warner gave us the ability to combine marketing agreements that were usually done separately,” he said. “By working with them to weave our message through a custom designed package of TV, print and interactive media, we’re realizing efficiencies at the same time we’re extending our reach. This is a strong consumer-driven approach to help us further communicate our brand message.”

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