As the new VP-marketing and advertising for Jockey International, Mr. Hogan, 43, now has a chance to fully manage a brand rather than one aspect of it. In January, he left Levi Strauss & Co. to join Jockey, which offered the opportunity to influence the overall marketing effort, rather than just the advertising slice, he said.
He first arrived at Jockey's Kenosha, Wis., headquarters, in the wake of a record snowstorm that buried most of the Midwest. It snowed daily for two straight weeks, which made him wonder briefly if he'd made the right choice.
But as the spring thaw nears, leaving Levi Strauss and temperate San Francisco behind seems like a good idea again.
Despite a much smaller marketing budget -- $10 million for Jockey vs. $50 million for Levi's -- Jockey offers him a chance to flex more of his marketing muscle.
"While a smaller brand, I have a broader scope, which is why I made the move," said Mr. Hogan, who now handles all the components of brand building.
At Levi's, he was director of consumer marketing and director of retail marketing, responsible only for the core brand. Now, he leads Jockey's creative, advertising, consumer relations, corporate communications and market research departments, and reports to Steve Tolensky, president of Jockey Brands.
His Levi's experience should serve him well at 123-year-old Jockey. Both companies own venerable brands that consumers tend to use as generic names. "You have two great American brands that need to continue to be relevant and young," Mr. Hogan said.
Jockey wants to increase brand awareness and usage among 18- to-34-year-olds by making its product fashionable to those consumers. It doesn't want to be perceived as just "a white underwear company," he said. Initial efforts include upgrading the company's Web site (jockey.com), and sponsoring events with Sports Illustrated.
An ad campaign from Grey Advertising, New York, which started in early 1998, drew a lot of attention to the brand with its use of real people, including a racy stocking ad showing female stockbrokers flashing their gams. The latest print executions, which broke in March magazines, featured Texas firemen modeling the Pouch men's line and New York florists sporting the Almost Nothing collection.
SUPPORT BRAS ARE NEXT
In May, the company will launch new underwear products for men and women, including its first line of support bras and a line of men's underwear made from a new material designed to wick moisture away from the body.
Ads from Grey for both lines will appear in May magazines; the bra line executions will feature soap opera stars. The models for the men's line, though, remain Jockey's secret. "The brand has to continue to be fun," Mr. Hogan said.
As far as the new campaign goes, he would only say it will be memorable. "You