Playtex Perks Up Ads for First Time in Six Years

New Bra Styles, Campaign Attempt to Attract Younger Women

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After six years of running a campaign called, "Who knows you like we do," Playtex Bras realized it didn't actually know its customers all that well.

"Women told us loud and clear: we don't have enough choices out there, and we're not really fulfilling their needs from a support and a style standpoint," said Tricia Bouras, director of marketing for Playtex Bras.

So this week, Playtex Bras, a subsidiary of HanesBrands, debuted a $10 million integrated marketing campaign called "Be Uniquely You." It coincides with new bra styles and packaging, and invests heavily in social media and national TV ads in an attempt to bring younger buyers into the Playtex fold.

One of Playtex's goals with the campaign is to draw younger buyers to the brand. Its current consumer is in her mid-40s, according to Ms. Bouras.

"We absolutely want to see more women 35 and younger come into the franchise," Ms. Bouras said. "She's going to be more in the digital space and living in the social world, and that's really where we've added some more focus and spending, so we could really make sure we're being heard where she's getting her news and media."

The new campaign, from Playtex's longtime agency partner Kraftworks NYC, is the result of months of research into women's needs in the intimate apparel category. In terms of current bra choices, women told Playtex they felt "we all have to fit the same cookie cutter," according to Ms. Bouras.

Tricia Bouras, director of marketing at Playtex Bras
Tricia Bouras, director of marketing at Playtex Bras

"That was the key nugget insight that women shared with us that led us to why we're doing this campaign, that it's all about being uniquely you," Ms. Bouras said. "That was the biggest cultural shift that led us to 'aha,' and why we need to shift our message and be focused on her."

Playtex's campaign therefore highlights broader style, silhouette, color and size options. A key element is the TruShades collection, a new neutrals palette that blends with a variety of skin tones. In the coming months, Playtex will elevate its packaging to fit the new message.

The national campaign involves advertising on television networks, including ABC Family, Oxygen and [email protected] and on TV shows such as "The Bachelor," "America's Got Talent," and "The Chew." In the social realm, Playtex launched a crowd-sourced "Braclaration of Independence," a manifesto women can sign virtually to support "bra happiness." Women are also encouraged to share their bra experiences on Playtex's website, as well as its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Competition for Playtex is spread across segments. As a brand sold in mid-tier stores such as JC Penney, Target and Macy's, Playtex's competitors include Vanity Fair, Maidenform and other mid-range intimate sellers. But rivals also exist outside the department stores, in retailers such as Victoria's Secret and GapBody.

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