- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 27, 2005

Hanes is sporting celebrity star power in an ad campaign debuting today. The TV commercials, featuring Hanes casual wear, sleepwear and underwear, star funnyman Damon Wayans, actress Marisa Tomei, former “Friends” star Matthew Perry and former basketball great Michael Jordan.

It is an aggressive campaign for Hanes, which for the first time is featuring four celebrities in its advertising.

The ads, which use the tag line “Look who we’ve got our Hanes on now,” include the bald Mr. Wayans in the middle of his daily shaving routine, a flirtatious Miss Tomei, and a competitive Mr. Jordan and Mr. Perry dueling it out in a game of pool. All of them are wearing the Hanes brand.

Mr. Jordan is the veteran. He has been peddling Hanes products for 15 years.

“Michael has been a terrific ambassador for the Hanes brand,” said David Robertson, director of brand communications for Hanes. “He has quintessential style that people relate to.”

The use of other celebrities is not de-emphasizing Mr. Jordan’s connection to the brand, Mr. Robertson said. The company wanted more stars — in addition to Mr. Jordan — who seemed real and approachable to show their style and how they wear the brand.

“We have a consumer base that really knows this brand,” Mr. Robertson said. “Whatever we did [with advertising] had to be believable.”

The Winston-Salem, N.C., company expects to use more celebrities next year.

The Martin Agency, based in Richmond, created the campaign. The ad agency has worked with Hanes since July 2002.

The campaign, which will run throughout the year, also will include print and online advertising expected to begin in July.

In addition to the ads, Hanes will introduce new packaging, starting with its women’s line this spring.

New York Life taps D.C.

New York Life Insurance Co. is targeting 15 markets, including the District, with an advertising campaign that focuses on the company’s values.

Radio spots will begin running next month on eight local radio stations, including WMMJ-FM (102.3), WASH-FM (97.1) and WRQX-FM (107.3). Other targets include New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, New Orleans and Omaha, Neb.

The mutual life insurance company chose markets that have “strong demographics, strong sales potential and a strong agency sales force,” said Carolyn Martin Buscarino, senior vice president of corporate communications.

It is in support of the company’s $30 million national advertising campaign that was created to build familiarity of the New York Life brand.

The national campaign, created by Berlin Cameron/Red Cell of New York, started at the end of January.

New wins

Blackboard Inc., which provides electronic-learning software and services to more than 2,000 universities and schools worldwide, has named the Pappas Group of McLean as its marketing communications agency of record.

Blackboard also has retained DBC Public Relations Experts of the District and DRC Group, a market research firm in Austin, Texas.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.

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