LEE TAKES EMOTIONAL PATH TO REACH WOMEN FOR RIDERS

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Lee Co.'s Riders division on Sept. 8 adds an emotional appeal from "real" women in its newest campaign for women's jeans.

The TV campaign, consisting of four 15-second b&w spots, was inspired by customers' stories about how the jeans make them feel, and some are recounted in the vignettes by the actual women involved. The ads are from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis.

The effort, expected to be followed with a print campaign next spring, is budgeted at $9 million, up from the $6 million spent for last year's campaign, which focused on fit.

MAKING DENIM RELEVANT

"These [new] ads are not about sexy bodies clad in denim," said Jenni Grisso, director of marketing communications for the Riders brand at Lee, a unit of VF Corp. "We needed to make this brand important in the lives of women."

Women feel beautiful "when confidence is at its peak," she added, thus the individual stories.

Riders, sold in discount department stores such as Kmart Corp., Target Stores and Wal-Mart Stores as well as regional chains, has risen in the past year to the No. 1 share in branded jeans for females sold via that distribution channel.

At 16.9%, the brand is followed by Chic with 14% and Jordache with 13%.

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