Men's Wearhouse persuades patrons to donate the suits off their backs

Without the help of TV ads, Men's Wearhouse needed to figure out a way to drive attention to its annual National Suit Drive.

Client Men's Wearhouse (Houston)

PR agency Mullen (Winton-Salem, NC)

Campaign Give the Suit Off Your Back

Duration September 2010

Budget Less than $100,000

Without the help of TV ads, Men's Wearhouse needed to figure out a way to drive attention to its annual National Suit Drive. In the third year of the effort, Julie Town, director of corporate giving at Men's Wearhouse, says it wanted new ways to create education and awareness about the company's philanthropic effort.

Strategy

The team at Mullen decided to rally around what it called the "mancession" and get men to help each other get back to work by donating suits.

In five key metro markets, walking billboards (men in ties, boxers, and dress shoes) encouraged people to donate articles of clothing off their backs.

"The walking billboards are a physical example of word of mouth," explains Ruthie Winig, SVP of PR and social media at Mullen.

Tactics

The team used "tighty whitey" mailers to build media interest. The walking billboards carried signs that read, "Give the Suit Off Your Back" (pictured right). By partnering with regional nonprofits, the team was able to share success stories from past suit drive recipients to humanize the story.

"It was a fun, edgy way to bring attention to a serious issue," Town says.

In addition, a blogging seeding program was used to leverage online influencers.

Results

There were 110,000 articles of clothing collected nationwide. In less than 24 hours, 250 million media impressions were garnered. Overall, the campaign generated 575 media stories.

As part of the initiative, Men's Wearhouse gave out a coupon that had a 20% redemption rate for those who donated. The average ticket price with coupon redemption was 60% higher than the average transaction during the same time period.

Future

Mullen will continue to work with Men's Wearhouse to further contemporize the brand.

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