Caution: watch this ad and risk waking up to men around you pulling sneaky moves such as the crotch wiggle, the butt dip and the crevice pull in an effort to adjust their parts in their poorly fitting underwear.
Mens' underwear brand Tommy John puts this real-world male plight front and center in this funny campaign out of Preacher, Austin and directed by Smuggler's Guy Shelmerdine.
Backed by the Sparks' popular '80s track "Angst in My Pants," the anthem ad, "The Big Adjustment," cuts together funny scenes of guys of all kinds -- including a college professor, a paparrazi-swarmed celebrity, a weather forecaster -- attempting to right their undies on the sly, but they're not fooling those around them, who get the ickies when they notice what's happening. It's the perfect setup for the hilarious, insightful tag: "When you're uncomfortable, we're all uncomfortable."
According to Preacher CCO Rob Baird, the agency first met Tommy John Head of Brand Josh Dean when he and the company's other founders, formerly of Mother New York, were still living in NYC and Mr. Dean was at Unilever working on the Axe brand. "We were friends socially, and since there's nothing better than getting to make work with people you genuinely like we were thrilled when he called Preacher to help out." Mr. Baird said that Mr. Dean had given them the brief to create an awareness campaign and "make men aware that when it comes to their underwear, evolution has gotten hung up pretty badly."
"When we looked at the industry, we couldn't understand why everyone was doing the same thing," said Mr. Dean in a statement. "Underwear and underwear advertising hasn't really changed since Marky Mark in 1992. As a brand, Tommy John has never been afraid of being different and we wanted to talk about the uncomfortable truths affecting men and the world around them. By creating awareness that there is a solution to this problem, this campaign tackles a taboo topic in a humorous way."
Mr. Baird said that the idea for the spot originated during early conversations with Tommy John Founder Tom Patterson. "We were talking about the recent 'manspreading' epidemic on NYC subways, and that led to us talking about all the other ways men are publicly fighting with their undergarments, often unaware they're even doing it. The challenge then was to create a film that both men and women found watchable enough to share, rather than turn away from."
The ad will first launch on the newly-redesigned Tommy John site and will also air nationally on broadcast and on digital platforms. The campaign also includes GIFs "naming an array of adjustments and coping methods which we've been witnessing a lot, unfortunately," said Mr. Baird. "Hopefully people can use them to encourage friends or loved ones who are clearly in need of change."