By Barry Janoff
May 29, 2012: Michael Jordan had a Hall of Fame career in the NBA. Now, Jordan is back in what has been a Madison Avenue Hall of Fame career as a successful career as a product spokesman, starring in a series of TV spots for Hanes.
Jordan, who has worked with Hanes for about 20 years, is the frontman supporting the launch of Tagless underwear. The product is a companion line to Tagless undershirts, which Hanes, also with the help of Jordan, unveiled in 2002.
Three TV spots with Jordan anchor a Tagless effort that actually has a tag line: "Tags are annoying so we got rid of them. Go tagless."
The three spots will break this week during sports and entertainment programming, according to Hanes. Support also includes Internet and social media destinations, including Facebook and Twitter. Lead agency is The Martin Agency, Richmond, VA.
In each of the spots, Jordan, who is the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, shows up to relieve men of their annoying underwear tags, which here bother their owners not only by their unwanted visible presence but also by their irritating chatter.
"Come on dude, what is this music you're listen to?" asks the tag on an office worker's underwear in "Office." "You need to pump up some jams. It's Friday!" Jordan arrives, rips the tag off the garment and tosses it in a shredder.
In “Movie Talker,” Jordan is seated in a theater behind a couple, with the guy's undershirt tag giving away plot lines to the movie. Here, Jordan disposes of the tag in a nearby cup of soda. “Grilling” offers up a man handling the feast at a backyard barbecue. But when his annoying tag claims to be a much better chef than its owner, Jordan throws the tag in the grill.
Hanes said the product launch follows the "success of the . . . Hanes Tagless undershirt and in response to in-depth consumer research . . . to address the unmet needs voiced by male consumers."
“As a brand, our mission is to deliver consumer-driven product innovations for superior comfort with enhanced fit,” Sidney Falken, chief branding officer for Hanes, said in a statement. “Tags continue to be a significant irritant for our consumers, so we sought to address this issue across all of our styles of men’s underwear bottoms."
According to Jordan, “These ads do a great job of driving home the point of how annoying tags are in a very funny and entertaining way. I personally can’t stand annoying, itchy tags and I’m so glad Hanes decided to get rid of them… and I’m very happy to help. I’ve been working with Hanes for more than 20 years and each time we’ve created ads together, it’s been a blast.”
"We consider ourselves to be comfort innovators and we strive to deliver both physical and emotional comfort with all of our products," said Falken. "Our ultimate goal is perfect comfort, without a distracting tag.”