Win or lose—and there’s been too much of the latter lately to satisfy some University of Michigan fans—head coach Jim Harbaugh is famous for his crisp khakis. Procter & Gamble Co.’s Downy, via agency Woven and Grey, New York, has taken that ball and run with it in a funny campaign where mythical laundry assistant Josh commits to keeping Harbaugh’s khakis wrinkle-free all season with new Downy WrinkleGuard.
Harbaugh plays his trademark humorless self, and Josh is dogged in his pursuit of khaki crispness as he follows the coach from field to vending machine to monitor quality control. He even monitors the khakis’ game-time performance in a film room in one spot.
Following a humiliating defeat last month to Wisconsin, some fans have been rooting for Josh’s season-long commitment to be cut short by Harbaugh’s firing. And YouTube commenters have been harsh toward the coach, if positive on balance about the ads. “If only [Harbaugh] worried more about his team winning a quality game rather than his pants,” says one.
Woven is the multi-agency shop opened last year comprising people from Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett, WPP’s Grey and P&G in-house media and people, with Grey creatives taking the lead on this Downy work.