Dickies Taps Goodby Silverstein for Creative

Clothing Company Previously Handled Most Advertising In-House

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After years of handling the bulk of its advertising in-house, work-wear brand Dickies has selected Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, as its new creative agency, according to industry executives.

The move comes after a lengthy review process that saw a final-round shootout between the Omnicom Group-owned agency and Publicis Groupe's Publicis, Dallas, the executives said. A Dickies spokeswoman declined to comment, and representatives for the agencies declined to comment.

Dickies, which is marketed by Fort Worth, Texas-based Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Co., has been around since the 1920s. Ad campaigns for the clothing company have historically stressed attributes such as quality and durability (Dickies touts a lifetime guarantee) over style, though for a period in the 1990s the brand became popular with young consumers.

In its early days it was known primarily for overalls, but the company's clothes have expanded to include jeans, casual men's and women's clothing and school uniforms. Williamson-Dickie, whose main competitors include marketers such as Carhartt and Levi Strauss & Co., is sold across the U.S. and in certain global marketers including Japan, Russia and Mexico through retailers, print catalogs and online.

Over the years, its advertising has largely been handled in-house, though it has been known to bring aboard outside agencies to handle efforts for the Hispanic market -- a key demographic for the brand -- and for certain projects.

Recent marketing pushes have included a series of documentary-style spots of Dickies wearers, such as a barbershop owner and a stunt driver, that were shot with the help of digital studio Radium, and a summer promotion dubbed "Dickies American Worker of the Year" that offered consumers the chance to enter to win cash prizes and vacations.

The marketer spent $8 million on domestic measured media in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

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