The ad: The scene is a locker room, where four guys are yakking away in their white briefs. They spy Jordan. He's fully clothed but unpacking his gym pack—and pulling out a snazzy pair of red Hanes underwear. The four guys fall silent and stare at possibly the greatest basketball player of all time and his undergarment of choice; several of them look down and seem to be contemplating some kind of … inadequacy. Cut to the same locker room, at some unspecified point in the immediate future. All four guys are now wearing the red underwear. Just like Mike. Just then their idol walks in again, and the group looks over with cocky glances. But Jordan pulls from his bag … a polka-dotted pair of Hanes. The others look chagrined and in various ways seem to be trying to hide their outdated undies. One (the only black member of the group; the others are all white), actually crosses his hands over his crotch. Jordan struts out, and as the Hanes logo appears on screen, he comments, "Hey, as long as they're Hanes."
Strange brief: What's really puzzling about this ad is that Hanes' message to potential customers is so confused. Sure, the company is having some fun with the idea of mindless Mike-worship. But isn't this ad also sort of, you know, depending on the exact same thing? It seems to me that anyone who sees this spot and decides to rush out and buy a pair of red or polka-dotted Hanes underwear finds himself joining these four bozos in spirit. The whole ad seems to be sort of underscoring the idea that Hanes is the brief of choice for interchangeable lemmings.
Hanes underwear is the king when it comes to solving a simple problem in a big way. Just look at their tagless program. For years,we have all suffered the annoyance and irritation of a tag at our neck - it either stuck out or scratched us along our collar line. Than, Hanes came out with their tagless tops and bottoms. Changing those tags to printed or embossed information on the inside of the garment became an "aha" moment for many. So today, most people think of tagless when they think of Hanes Men's underwear. It was a simply brilliant marketing strategy.