Mark’s gets to the point

A no-nonsense campaign focuses on jeans and showcases the retailer's new tone.


Mark’s has found a new way to speak to its target customer, and it’s debuting that new brand tone in its latest digitally led campaign.

The campaign is focusing on the retailer’s selection of jeans, and speaking about them in a very direct way – with taglines like “You need jeans. We have jeans.” – while also injecting a touch of humour.

In addition to the online video above, which will be pushed through YouTube and social channels, the campaign will also feature digital ads and social posts. Mark’s worked with Will Creative and Huge on the campaign, with Touche! handling media and North Strategic on PR.

This campaign marks a continuation of the evolution of the message in Mark’s marketing, which has slowly been picking up steam since it began in 2011 and began to result in an increased marketing presence over the course of this year. A big part of that has been speaking to consumers in a more engaging way so that it can maintain its market share as the top retailer of men’s casual wear.

Mark’s was looking to shift consideration by creating breakthrough communication for its hero products, says David Lui, VP of marketing for Mark’s. “Our research has shown our customers are welcoming of that kind of humorous tone, so we’re going to speak to them in a way in which they like to be spoken to. But we’re also cutting through the clutter by being very direct and no-nonsense. If we don’t pique their interest in six seconds, we might lose them.”

markslevisLui says Mark’s tone prior to this was more serious and tactical, but the new creative voice allows it to be more engaging with consumers while still delivering tactical information, such as the assortment of brands it carries, something consumers didn’t always have a high awareness of, Lui says.

The new campaign will be running for eight weeks, before pivoting to other categories – first footwear, and then outer wear and winter wear – while maintaining the new brand tone.

“Through our research, we time our campaigns to be running at the time of year when these categories are top of mind,” Lui says. “Jeans are the cornerstone of every guy’s wardrobe. If you look at spring and fall, we always kick off with jeans because its the anchor product and guys are looking for jeans now as they want to refresh their look.”

By changing its tone and shifting more of its marketing budget to digital channels, Mark’s is attempting to continue reaching its primary target – 30- to 49-year-old men dubbed “Mr. Triple C” (confident, casual and Canadian) – which is younger than the demo it targeted in the past.

However, the retailer is careful to maintain its ties to its traditional target, which Lui says is being done by speaking to them through more traditional channels. Messaging from the digital jeans campaign will be carried over into TV spots, print ads and flyers in early September, as well as in-store signage.