Haggar Senior VP-Marketing Alan Burks said effective at mid-year, the marketer will shift all its $13 million in ad spending to women's books and a few dual-audience books, dropping all TV and men's magazines.
It expects to stop advertising in its current lineup of Men's Health, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated.
The strategy is based on the idea that women view men as renovation projects.
"This will be a dramatic shift, where women will be the key focus of our ad message because they have the power, the relationship and are the key influencers, making nearly half of all men's clothing purchases," Mr. Burks said. "And if they don't actually make the purchase, they affect it."
The plan was devised after San Francisco-based Goodby randomly sampled 200 females who shop for men's pants at department stores such as J.C. Penney Co., Macy's or Mervyn's, indicating the men they shop for are not exactly readers of GQ.
`CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE'
For Haggar, there's an added plus in that, said Mr. Burks: "We believe a targeting strategy is the heart of this, so we can be more effective without spending more. We will have a higher reach and frequency against our core audience of women than what we had in our previous strategy . . . And there's an opportunity for great continuity throughout the year.
"This gives us the ability to be a 12-month advertiser where, with broadcast costs, we were a flight."
Mr. Burks said he's looking for magazines that offer not just pages but the resources the publishing companies can bring to bear, such as merchandising and promotional ideas.
Haggar, with $465 million in sales, is the No. 1 marketer of men's pants in department stores, Mr. Burks said, and counts its primary competition as Levi Strauss & Co.'s Dockers line.
The company also markets men's shirts and sportcoats, which the new campaign will put in the spotlight along with slacks.
One ad for Haggar's City Casuals reads: "In the female, the ability to match colors comes at an early age. In the male, it comes when he marries a female."