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Dockers “Wear The Pants” ad campaign – Part 1: A return to tradition could be good…

December 28, 2009 3 comments

Personally, I am a denim man. Nonetheless, I was interested to see the new Dockers Khaki ad campaign, dubbed “Wear the Pants”.

When I say interested, I do not necessarily mean enticed. I have mixed feelings about the ads, but before I continue here it is:

The sum of the ad is this: men used to be men, but now men aren’t men anymore, so men need to start being men.

It talks about many old traditions of manhood. Taking charge, aiding women, not eating ‘sissy food’, etc., and how such things have fallen by the wayside.

Now, as I said, I see both good and bad in this ad. To get things started, I will look at the good aspects, which mostly fall in the upper part of the ad.

One thing I do like about the ad is that it recognizes how society has begun to act like men are not needed, leaving them ‘stranded by the road’. It talks about a ‘genderless society’ and the struggle of boys to transition into manhood, specifically in a world which doesn’t clearly define manhood any more. This is a real and serious problem in the western world and it is very important that we make sure our sons know who and what they are.

It is very nice to see recognition for the role men play in the raising of children, the ad citing ‘children misbehaving’ as one of the world’s problems which have arisen since men were demoted. It clearly states that the world needs men, which is something that can be too easily forgotten.

It also acknowledges and respects the role of leadership men have traditionally played. No matter how you feel about the kings and leaders of old, you can not deny that it was men who took up that responsibility. I agree that through most of history, men have ‘worn the pants well’.

The ad is a strong call for men to step back into life and once again become leaders (or probably co-leaders) of their people. However, I am not entirely in love with this ad. Next time I will have a look at the negative side of it, including its unfair portrayal of men as wholly responsible for change.

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