Hanes travels back to 1901 and the ‘invention of comfort’ in fun Martin Agency campaign

Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’ backs a lavish and fanciful reimagining of the underwear maker’s origin story

Published On
Apr 12, 2023
A Victorian woman looking shocked in the new Hanes campaign

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Taking poetic license with one’s origin story is suddenly all the rage.

First we had the TravisMathew spots, which just flat-out lied about the apparel brand’s history. Now we get an opulent and cheeky new Hanes campaign, which also bends the truth to take a colorful view of the brand’s founding back in 1901—to support the new Gen Z-targeted Hanes Originals collection, launched in February and billed as the largest cross-category collection in the company’s history.

A two-minute film from The Martin Agency opens on a Downton Abbey-ish aristocratic manor—though this one’s in America, not England. Inside, we see the upper-crust dandies suffering miserably in their restrictive clothing, including uncomfortable corsets and cravats.

Some would say that’s just the price of looking good. But one particular guest disagrees, slips out of the music recital he’s attending, finds an empty room with a phonograph, and is suddenly dancing gleefully to Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” in bright-red, modern-day Hanes underwear.


The onscreen claim that Hanes “changed the world with the invention of comfort” is a bit hyperbolic, too, but all within bounds of the largely fictional world they’ve built here.

Three :30s expand on scenes from the longform.


Martin associate creative directors Avi Steinbach (copywriter) and Rushil Nadkarni (art director) said working on the production design and art direction was one of the most enjoyable parts of the process.

“The exciting part of producing a period-themed campaign like this, was to bring the Victorian era—more specifically, the Gilded Age in America—to life,” the pair told Ad Age in an email. “1901 in America—when Hanes was founded—was lavish, exuberant and even stuffy, all at the same. Our challenge was to capture that grandeur in a film.”

They added: “This world had to look real to immerse the viewer—not a set dressed to play the part. But at the same time, it had to reflect the stuffiness of American wealth and not British royalty.”


The directors were The Coles, a sibling duo from Sanctuary—Sophie, a former costume designer on films and commercials, and Walker, previously an art dealer. “They made for a perfect duo for bringing this world to life,” Steinbach and Nadkarni said.

They shot in Prague, and were painstakingly faithful to the time period with the props and other production elements. “We spent a lot of time fact-finding, checking for historical accuracy,” they said, “and carefully picked many elements that needed to have been invented before 1901 to show up in the film—like the gramophone, the wooden trunk’s design, or the broad hats with decorative feathers.”

The only modern-day element, of course, is the Hanes Originals collection, “which is a surprise when you see it,” the creatives said. “But it allowed for more creative storytelling, to juxtapose a modern idea of comfort against the old guards of fashion.”


The campaign as a while mirrors the promise of the new products, said Sandra Moore, VP of brand marketing, Hanes & Intimates.

“We leaned into our brand promise with Hanes Originals and went even deeper, examining the true meaning of comfort—both from a physical sense and emotionally,” she said. “Hanes Originals lets our consumers embrace their originality, departing from the stuffy fashions of the early 1900s to embrace comfort in a way that feels relevant, stylish and fun to a diverse and modern audience.”


Apr 12, 2023
Client :
Agency :
The Martin Agency
Chief Creative Officer :
Danny Robinson
Executive Creative Director :
Jordi Martinez
VP Group Creative Director :
Gustavo Dorietto
ACD Copywriter :
Avi Steinbach
ACD Art Director :
Rushil Nadkarni
Art Director :
Lacey Tobler
Copywriter :
Ryan Cummings
Creative Social Lead :
Nadezhda Camperlengo
VP Account Director :
Katie White
Account Supervisor :
Megan Spiess
Account Executive :
Vinny McNatt
Sr. Project Manager :
Jenn Clark
SVP Group Strategy Director :
Morgan Aceino
Group Strategy Director :
Angela Jones
Strategist :
Allie Ballard
VP Director of Creative Media and Partnerships :
Becca Grimes
Head of Analytics :
JT Taillon
Sr. Social Strategist :
Megan Bagli
Social Media Manager :
Meg Craig
Social Producer :
Chris Gsell
Business Affairs :
Suzanne Wieringo
Head of Production :
Tasha Dean
Executive Producer :
Brett Alexander
Executive Producer :
Ann Parker
Sr. Art Producer :
Sara Levi
Senior Print Producer :
Jamie Dollins
Executive Digital Producer :
Matt Sweica
Associate Producer :
Matt Cervantez
Sr. Producer :
Robyn Nagorsky
Sr. Content Producer :
Pete Derby
Content Producer :
Elise Canup
Sr. Financial Affairs Manager :
Amy Trenz
Broadcast Traffic Director :
Debbie Douglas
Associate Director Digital Production :
Angela Williams
Designer :
Stephen Henderson
VP Brand Marketing :
Alvin Chow
Senior Manager :
Maria Talbert
Brand Manager :
Whitney Newell
Senior Manager :
Allen Ogburn
Assistant Manager :
Chaz Stamey
Senior Manager Product Management :
Marla Darden
Senior Manager Merchandising :
Lacey Vanderveen
Chief Design Officer :
Jane Newman
Design Director :
Anna Banno
Director :
Sophie Cole
Director :
Walker Cole
Producer :
Leah Allina
Director of Photography :
Arseni Khachaturan
1st AD :
Anthony Dimino
Choreographer :
Matilda Fleberg
Stylist :
Thomas Murray
Executive Producer :
Fady Salame
Executive Producer :
Martin Sobotka
Executive Producer :
Veronika Hajkova
Line Producer :
Jan Hlavsa
Production Manager :
Barbora Moc Wochnerova
Edit :
Nomad Edit
Editor :
Raj Ramnauth
Executive Producer :
Julia Williams
Producer :
Julia Paskert
Colorist :
Kath Raisch
Producer :
Anna Butler
Stills Photographer :
Anna Kovacic
Music House :
Hyperballad Music
Music Supervisor :
Rob Niederpruem
Audio Post :
Sonic Union
Sound Design & Mix :
Kelly Oostman
Assistant Engineer :
Joey Glick
Sound Producer :
Mary Kate Valentino

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