Dockers take fashion angle

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Levi Strauss & Co. is turning to fashion for one of the biggest campaigns in the history of its Dockers brand.

The effort makes no mention of khakis, the pants with which the Dockers name is most closely associated. Instead, it backs pants in stretch fabrics, the Dockers apparel line for women and the Dockers Recode line of fashion-forward shirts and pants that move into stores this spring in anticipation of a formal fall launch.

The Fox network, cable and 13 spot-markets effort running through summer kicks off with three new spots, the first of which break this week. The push via FCB Worldwide, San Francisco, also brings back Dockers' "Nice pants" tagline.

"Dockers is changing," said Maureen Griffin, Dockers consumer marketing manager. "Consumers know us for khakis," she said, but "it's important to provide new-product news."

Ms. Griffin would not disclose spending on the spots, saying it's "among the largest in the brand's history;" for the first 11 months of 1999, Dockers spent $32.3 million on ads, up 10% from all of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

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