By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

While many a marketer will comment on how humor and fashion can be powerful partners our industry tends to get somber when it comes to creative, choosing to run with the pack rather than taking the risk. Denim advertising in particular follows the same path toward the center focusing on heritage, authenticity and youthful self expression. Yet for whatever reason, that self-expression has yet to run the risk of having a sense of humor. As if the millennial audience watching the latest Judd Apatow movie only wears slacks or ‘Bob of State Farm’ khakis.

This season the team at True Religion Brand Jeans strategically decided to stand alone and thus out in a crowd of all too serious denim heads. The result is one of this season’s strongest video campaigns and a viral video that has garnished millions of free earned media impressions.

We just saw everyone going to the same place and as soon as you play it safe like that you loose your point of differentiation. We are going to zag to that zig.

Mary Alderete
CMO True Religion Brand Jeans

“We leaned into our heritage which was about disruption and being over-the-top and took that swagger of the modern day outlaw and laddered it up to a benefit no one has caught on to which is recognition of style leadership,” say Mary Alderete, CMO True Religion Brand Jeans who joined the firm last November from Levi’s to help refocus the brand.

That style leadership plays out in a video short like a scene from ‘Dazed and Confused meets Kill Bill’ complete with a slow motion grand entrance and musical soundtrack of a Tarantino film.  And in keeping with the cinematic creative Mary Alderete required the media to be “Larger than life and louder than words.”

“I wanted everything about this campaign to be large like the brand and so we anchored around cinema which is like prime time viewing for us, and we wanted to come out of the gate pretty strong in the premium category for this reintroduction to True Religion Brand Jeans,” explained Alderete.  The campaign launched nationally with The Equalizer, and continued with Gone Girl, The Judge and will be running ahead of Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. In addition digital video ran on YouTube, Hulu, as well as with partners GQThe Bleacher Report, and New York Times. 

The Impression is grateful that taking a stance of style leadership has not translated to True Religion taking themselves too seriously and thus delivering swagger with a smirk.



Agency | 180LA
Production Company | Imperial Woodpecker
Director | Sam Brown
Producer | Anita Wetterstedt
Director of Photography | Larkin Seiple
Executive Creative Director | William Gelner
Associate Creative Directors | Mike Bokman & Jason Rappaport
True Religion | Mary Alderete, CMO
Edit House | Cut+Run