Sweat Equity

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Appealing to Hard Workers Everywhere

Recently, Mark’s (formerly Mark’s Work Wearhouse) launched a campaign honoring their blue-collar demographic. Their “Well Worn” advertisements cleverly pay tribute to the people for which their merchandise is designed for - the ones that will be getting plenty of elbow-grease on it.

Mark’s message in their commercial is crystal clear. Their apparel isn’t made for those who work at a desk. Like its intended wearer, it’s resilient and can withstand the hard stuff.

For over 40 years, the company has specialized in casual and industrial wear. In an article by Mario Toneguzzi for Retail Insider, PJ Czank, Mark’s president, lauded the retailer's rebranding as a return to its brawny roots. “It’s about being authentic and real...We built the company on quality and durability. So for us Well Worn is really a positioning that celebrates the Canadians like us who persevere with grit and determination.”

Around this time last year, Tangerine’s similarly angled campaign grabbed our attention. It features an excellent montage of everyday people slugging it out at their challenging jobs. Adding to the appeal, the music is a catchy, modified tune of a classic army march. The song resonated with so many people, it has since been labelled an anthem.

Regardless of what you do for a living, we can all agree, there are days that are better than others. Tangerine humanizes the tougher ones – something to which we can all relate. Finally, just as we are drawn in and inevitably reflecting on our own professional difficulties, they set the hook with, "You work hard for your money. Does your bank?"

In both examples above, the marketing is brilliant. It conjures up feelings of empathy and pride. A tribe is created where the membership requirements include being gutsy and resilient. The message is inspirational to anyone while being complementary to those that often don’t get the respect they deserve. Most people work hard for their money. We could all use a little more appreciation for it.

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner