{iStyle} Old Navy Launches First-Ever Male-Specific AD Campaign

The times, they are a changing.

Old Navy – the budget-friendly, family-focused mega retailer – has gone against the grain and launched their first-ever advertising campaign specifically targeting men.

After seasons of family-specific marketing and a massive rebranding, Old Navy has officially initiated a conversation with who they call “Mike”—your average 25-to-35-year old male.

“It’s a big piece of business, and it’s time to speak directly to Mike and not just through his girlfriend, wife or sister,” said Amy Curtis-McIntyre, Senior Vice President of Marketing, adding that the men’s product line has gone through a significant evolution of its own with the addition of modern denim washes and styles, as well as more tailored shirts and pants.

Not only has the apparel itself changed, but so has Old Navy’s sense of humor. What was originally considered a very wholesome brand is now dabbling with satire and parody.

Consisting of 2 new videos – Supar Tool and Corporado—the brand pokes fun at typical male stereotypes, in an attempt to capture the attention of these often elusive shoppers; and encourages them to “Dress Like a Guy…Not That Guy”.

Supar Tool conveys exactly what it sounds like it should—an over-the-top metrosexual male figure who clearly thinks he is above everyone else.

In comparison, Corporado does its best to convey life as a “corporate cowboy”, and according to a recent article from AdAge, closely resembles the character Dwight on NBC’s “The Office”.

The third video is expected to tackle the brand’s leisurewear collection – “Jack Ash”.

The male-inspired campaign is spanning well beyond high-quality viral video.

Although the retailer decided to place a heavy focus on YouTube and Facebook distributed videos, there will also be a plethora of print ads running in ultra-masculine publications, such as Maxim magazine.

Old Navy certainly doesn’t want to be left in the dust either.

They’re further broadening this first-ever all-male campaign into the world of mobile marketing as well.

Mobile ad elements will include an interactive game, an exclusive “style-finder as well as a video gallery housing all of the brand’s satirical treasures, a local store locator and of course digital coupons.

Why not target men through traditional television ads and commercial marketing?

According to Curtis-McIntyre, the decision was an easy one—it all comes down to the male mindset.
“It’s difficult to reach men for an item of clothing through TV; it’s not particularly effective for us. When a guy’s watching really targeted male TV like sports, they’re not in a mind frame to look at polo shirts or jeans.”

This innovative new campaign isn’t only big new for the retail giant; it also marks the largest effort to date from advertising agency, Camp & King—an iconic branding powerhouse, run by fearless leaders Roger Camp and Jamie King, which remains Old Navy’s lead advertising agency.

Old Navy and the Camp & King duo are bracing for success as they strategically go after the male shopper. With what seems to be much at stake, all the statistics point in the right direction. The men’s apparel market has increased steadily over the past few years and their appears to be a changing mentality regarding the way in which men shop—all providing Old Navy the opportunity to capitalize on the lack of male-specific marketing.

When it comes to clothing and fashion trends, it’s almost always assumed that men rely on their female counterparts to shop for them—naturally resulting in ads that are target to these female influencers and opinion leaders. Little did retailers know, men are ready and willing to be a part of the process—and now Old Navy is giving them just that.


Kelly Ahern is a recent Roger Williams University graduate living in New England. Graduating with a degree in Communications-Public Relations and a Core Concentration in Italian, Ahern is an aspiring PR professional who loves social media, fashion and traveling. Currently she is a Social Media & Content Strategist for a Rhode Island-based digital marketing firm. You can find her on Twitter @Kelly_Ahern.

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  1. Haha I quite like it! I almost thought I was watching some typical high fashion commercial until the end!