I’ll be honest – Rodd & Gunn is not a company I would ever have expected to blog about. It’s a brand I firmly associate with 50-something year old Canterburian men who drive Land Rovers and whose teenaged sons attend Christ’s College. But recently it seems as if the old boy’s been having a bit of a revamp. First up there was the new flagship on Osborne Street in Newmarket that looked more like a cool Southern American heritage store than a Kiwi chain, and now there’s this TV commercial (above). With its road movie references and country and western soundtrack, the advert achieves what no other local menswear chain ever has (to my knowledge) – it offers something fresh, current, interesting and good looking, but retains all its masculinity.
There’s none of that Hallensteins ‘It’s good to be a guy’ bravado, where the fact that menswear is being sold is apologised for and hidden behind multiple layers of macho jokes. Nor are there any rugby or beer references. All we see is a young, good looking, virile guy travelling across the country by foot, hitch-hiking, washing in the river, sleeping with fast women in cheap motels and brushing his teeth against a backdrop of South Island mountains. You know, a real man.
If this is the new direction forward for Rodd & Gunn, long may it continue. Other NZ menswear chains, take note.
Like Katherine has just kindly pointed out, I’m being slightly contradictory here. To clarify, my point is that the TV commercial looks good without having to resort to cheap gags. Yes it’s stereotypical, but I forgive it because it’s such an aesthetically pleasing change from the normal Kiwi menswear ad. That’s all.
Yikes. Thanks to an anonymous commenter I’ve just seen what the Rodd & Gunn commercial is, ahem, referencing – the above Wrangler ad. Wow. I don’t quite know what to say. Somebody should do a mashup.
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