The new Dockers ad campaign, "Wear the Pants," is causing quite a stir, and rightly so. When was the last time you saw an ad for pants that didn't appeal to your private parts or your lower nature? Think of the jeans ads of the past 30 years which really have had one obvious, and at this point dreary, theme.
Enter the Dockers ad, appearing on billboards and print media across the country, which appeals to the mind. Rather than the image of the pants, or the curves of the body, the all-type ad stresses the image of the man, as part of its "Man-ifesto" campaign. It begins, in fairy tale fashion, "ONCE UPON A TIME MEN WORE THE PANTS AND WORE THEM WELL." Yes, that will get people's attention. The ad hits a nerve of the culture -- the role of the man and the relationship between men and women.
I won't over-analyze -- it is, after all, just an ad. But Madison Avenue has had a huge influence on our cultural images and thinking over the generations, and this ad may influence the cultural language in a positive way. At the very least, it has already begun a healthy dialogue about the role of men and the struggles and challenges they face in a highly sensitive, sometimes screedish, "post-feminist" society.
And by the way, I must admit that I have been a Dockers fan for years. After I put away the jeans from my early 20s, Dockers have fit quite well as casual pants for home and for the weekend. They are appropriate for all occasions that a man may face outside of the office. I hope Dockers does well with the ad campaign.
To read a Catholic female reaction to the ads and to see the ads in question, go to: https://loveandfidelity.org/blog/