Sexy Campaigns Target Back-to-School Crowd

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SAN FRANCISCO ( -- It's back to high-hormone advertising as manufacturers and retailers competing for denim dollars kick off the fall back-to-school advertising season.

Limited Brands, parent of Victoria's Secret, well-known for its sex-and-fantasy lingerie commercials, is sticking to TV advertising for its first-ever campaign for its jeans line for men and women at its Express division.

Express last year renamed its Structure stores, which offered clothing for men, Express for Men. Starting this month, Express plans to open stores catering to both both men and women, including a dual denim area.

Pillow talk
Unlike the Victoria's Secret ads, however, the models for Express are fully clothed, but the spots, which break July 29, still feature a bit of pillow talk. In one spot, "Group," two couples talk about the things they love about each other. In a second spot, a couple talks about their first kiss: "A little bit of lip and a little bit of tongue."

The campaign, with spending estimated in the $5 million to $10 million range, will air on network and cable stations, including prime-time shows such as ER, The West Wing and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Low-ride jeans
Other marketers are also moving ahead with new executions. Levi Strauss & Co. has kicked off a campaign featuring its low-ride jeans brand that carry the tagline "Dangerously low." The ads are the first in a planned fall campaign from new agency Bcom3 Group-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York. Retailer the Gap also has work from new agency, Laird & Partners, New York.

VF Corp., meanwhile, is sticking to a less sex-laden path with this year's version of its humorous Buddy Lee campaign. In one spot, a youth looking for a cheese sandwich is transported to a giant cheese store, where the baby doll icon is outlined on the parking lot asphalt. Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis, is the agency.

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