Burton is taking the blokish route in new national advertising which
pitches the menswear chain at men who behave badly.
In work that distances the retailer from its old reputation as the
manufacturer of the post-war demob suit, the ads employ ‘testosterone-
soaked imagery’, including the new lad bonding rite - the communal pee.
Mellors Reay and Partners has drafted in David Bailey, the icon of 60s
fashion photography, to shoot the four executions in which the new male
culture is contrasted with the strapline: ‘Burton. Gentlemen’s
Written by John Elsom and art directed by Ken Sara, the black-and-white
ads are part of a pounds 1.5 million campaign on 48-sheet posters,
magazines and supplements intended to lure potential customers who would
not previously have thought of going to Burtons.
Paul Richards, the managing director of Mellors Reay’s, said: ‘Burton
for blokes sums up what the campaign is all about. Burton has changed
enormously in the last two years.’
One of the ads features a man’s exposed upper back, his clothes pulled
up to reveal a tattoo in which a snake curls around a bloodied dagger.
In another, a tearful scissor-wielding woman shreds a man’s tie. A third
execution shows a woman dressed only in a shirt and tie being held
seductively by a naked man.
Richards claimed research showed the ads would not alienate existing
customers and said he did not expect to attract criticism.
‘The ads aren’t so much politically incorrect as realistic,’ he added.
‘They just reflect what’s going on in society.’