Asos' acid test: marketing to young men

Asos has its work cut out in its latest strategy, that of targeting young men.

Billie Joe Armstrong, singer/guitarist in Oakland veteran nu-punk band Green Day, was recently thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight when a cabin attendant decided his trousers were sagging too low.  Ah, the price of fashion.

No doubt his fans would have shared his indignation.  After all, for clothes-obsessed teenagers, musical heroes provide a ‘look’ as well as aural inspiration.

Ever since the Beatles were put into sharp suits and given mop tops, popular music has led the trends on the high street.

But can brand-owners hijack this process?  Online fashion retailer Asos is having a go.  Its new global advertising campaign is targeting young men. These guys don’t pore over fashion mags, so Asos and their agency BBH think they’ve found a new way to reach their audience.

Hand-picked dance talent in cities across the world will be filmed and shown on the web.  Of course, all the artistes will be kitted out in Asos gear.  If you like something, click on it to purchase.

See the ad here.

It sounds plausible enough.  But of course, as with any kind of fashion advertising, much of its power lies in the nuances of the executions.

The Asos ‘Urban Tour’ campaign is aiming for achingly hip street cred.

But isn’t there a paradox in making someone a clothes-horse for a single brand when nobody dresses tip to toe in one label?

OK, the youngsters may not have the classic chiselled features of professional male models, but models they will be. In the end, like the conventional campaigns it eschews, Asos asks for the suspension of disbelief.

None of this will matter if the clothes themselves look good enough and, vitally, get admiring glances from the purchaser’s peers.

That is the acid test: when your mates want to know where you got your gear.

Noelle McElhatton is editor of Marketing


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message