When you think of underwear advertising today, the sky is the limit! You see everything and very little can be left to the imagination. This wasn’t always the case, in the 1970’s and 80’s they wouldn’t show men wearing undies in TV commercials. If you are under 30, you may think this is totally crazy.
In the 1970’s most of the men’s underwear advertising was happening in magazines. The one company that really stood out during this time period was Jockey. I hear many of you saying, “Jockey? are you serious?” Yes I am. Jockey really was the front runner in men’s underwear advertising. They broke a lot of ground that still stands today!
This was most evident in the “Take Their Uniforms away and Who are they?” Campaigns. From what I can find they ran it in 1976 and 1977. It was 8 different sports starts just in their undies holding their sports equipment. I was going to say balls but thought the pun was just too bad! I always wondered how they got sports stars to strip down for the camera.
The best known is one we have talked about before, Jim Palmer. He was a star of the Baltimore Oriels at the time. He started in the late 70’s and continued till the Mid 80’s. Mr. Palmer wore mainly bikinis in the ads. This was pre-boxer brief time. He did prob about 20 different ads over that time period.
Jockey has continued to use sports figures in their ads. Most recently was Tim Bebow, former NFL Quaterback. Their ads currently are not as ground breaking as these ads during the 70s.
We need a hero. A hero that is a champion for men’s underwear. We are at a point where men’s underwear is going mainstream. Meaning over the last few years more guys gay and straight have been paying attention to underwear. Heck, we have more underwear companies then anytime I can remember in the history of underwear.
When I say we need a champion, I mean we need a spokes model for men’s underwear. A famous athlete, actor or entertainer that will step up and show the public that great men’s underwear is here to stay.
In the 70s and 80s we had Jim Palmer sporting Jockey bikinis in mainstream magazines. They used to run in People and I think Newsweek. For those of you not familiar with Mr. Palmer, he was a Major League Baseball star with Midwest all American looks. Having such a sports star in an underwear ad gave men’s underwear a sort of legitimacy and not put on some back page ads.
Flash-forward about 10 years and we have Marky Mark aka Mark Walberg in Calvin Klein boxer briefs. The newest hybrid style of the day. This ad was even featured in Times Square in NYC. This was the last time we had a major market campaign featuring a celebrity. It’s time for a new underwear hero
This came about due to a conversation I had with @ undieluvr on twitter. Her suggested that Underarmour create a sports thong and have an athlete promote it. It got me thinking that we need this for all undies. It’s time to bring great undies to the masses. Showing a major celebrity in them will only do this.
We currently have stars promoting underwear. The ones stars are David Beckham, Mario Lopez and Tim Tebow.
David Beckham is no stranger to promoting underwear. He’s done several shoots for Armani before he started his own line at H&M. His line is called David Beckham Bodywear and is available exclusively at H&M Retailers. Also this was one of the first men’s underwear Super Bowl commercials.
Mario has endorsed his own line Rated M. The line has been out a few years. Unlike David Beckham’s line, Rated M is available at many online and brick and mortar retailers. It has been around for about two years.
Tim Tebow was the spokes person for Jockey. He was to be the new Jim Palmer, but he was never photographed in the Underwear. This was brought up to Jockey and they said they were fine with him not wearing the underwear in ads. His announcement had the most comments on our Facebook page.
We need to have a guy come out of the underwear closet and say that they LOVE underwear. It doesn’t matter if he’s a sports star, Movie star or entertainer.
It makes me think who would be the perfect guy for the job. It would need to be someone mainstream to catch the attention of the general public and making them consider buying great undies. Some suggestions would be
Singer – Adam Levine – Lead Singer for Maroon5. He’s no stranger to getting naked and showing skin
Athlete – Eli Manning – The QB for the NY Giants. He’s got the wholesome look of Jim Palmer and a personality that could be great on camera
Actor – Matt Bomer – He’s been in Magic Mike so he’s been seen in underwear on film. He wore a thong in Magic Mike
Athlete – Michael Phelps – The Olympic gold medalist swimmer. He’s been seen in Speedos for millions on TV and is comfortable in them
Athlete – Colin Kaepernick – The Super Bowl QB for the San Francisco 49’ers who just appeared nude in the ESPN Magazine body issue.
These are just a few suggestions. I would love to hear who you guys think we should have as our Underwear Spokesman? Who has the body and the personality to speak the virtues of men’s undies?
One of the most controversial announcements in the world of men’s underwear was when Jockey announced Tim Tebow was going to be their spokesperson. Our Facebook page lit up with tons of comments. Most were saying that they would never buy Jockey until he was no longer spokes person.
The Hollywood Reporter ran a post this week that Tim has refused to strip down for Jockey. That meaning he would not be photographed just in his underwear. Jockey claims that the sales since Tebow took over have increased. However, can you sell underwear without actually being photographed in the brand?
Jockey is no stranger to hiring athletes to promote their undies. The first I remember is Jim Palmer. He was a pitcher for the Baltimore Oriels in the 70’s/80’s. His ads just about always featured him in bikini briefs. Which is one of the reasons I got bikinis back in the day. He was not shy and his ads became iconic in the world of men’s underwear.
Flash forward about 30 years. Today we have two “celebrities” with their own underwear lines. They are David Beckham and Mario Lopez, both we have covered here before. Neither one has been shy to strip down. David Beckham has promoted many underwear companies. He is no stranger to being shot in just his undies.
Mario Lopez is a new comer to the world of underwear. He has promoted his brand on his show “Extra.” This coverage showed him at the photo shoot and talking about the new line. The most recent was when Ellen made him drop his pants on his show, and then Ellen stripped him down (See our post featuring the Mario/Ellen Video).
Neither of these guys is being shy about showing off their brands. This got me thinking, if you hire someone to be a spokesperson for and Underwear Company, should they be required to strip down? Should Tebow keep his endorsement? What do you think?
It is my opinion that if I hire someone to be my spokesperson, I want him to be shot in the undies. Not just talk about them and be shot in T-shirts.
We reported this on the Facebook page but here’s the official announcement. The question is will he do underwear ads like Jim Palmer did back in the day? We will see..
Jockey International, Inc. today announced that pro football quarterback Tim Tebow has agreed to a multi-year contract in which Tebow will serve as a Jockey spokesperson beginning in July, 2010.
“Tim is a highly gifted athlete with a positive attitude and an admirable character,” remarked Jockey Chairman and CEO Debra S. Waller. “We at Jockey see a very bright future with Tim, and believe that he is an excellent representative for the brand. Tim is genuine, smart and driven and those qualities align well with Jockey. We look forward to building a long and collaborative relationship with him in the coming years.”
“I’m excited to represent the Jockey brand and to work with such an innovative company,” said Tebow. “I’ve long been a fan and consumer of Jockey, and think they make a quality product with a great fit. I’m looking forward to a great relationship with such a respectable company.”
Tebow will work with several of Jockey’s lines, including the Jockey® “Staycool” collection, which launches in spring 2011. Tebow will be featured in Jockey’s catalog, TV and print advertisements and on jockey.com. Jockey and Tebow will also collaborate on unique content for social media platforms.
Tim Tebow was a first round NFL draft pick in 2010. In college he won two national championships and was the first ever sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. He also was a two-time winner of the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top college football player, as well as the winner of the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best college quarterback, and the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s most outstanding amateur athlete in any sport.