Harry Rosen sizes up Canada’s execs online

With a successful new blog and an e-commerce catalogue launching next month, men's high-end clothier Harry Rosen swings at the recession with a 'New Confidence.'

As part of its 2009 ‘The New Confidence’ campaign, men’s high-end clothing retailer Harry Rosen is bolstering its online presence with a regular blog featuring some of Canada’s top execs, fashion tips from Harry chairman and CEO Larry Rosen and a new e-commerce platform that will launch by the end of May.

The ‘Confidence’ campaign, which launched in March, is about the importance of business leaders maintaining their own personal brand in uncertain times in order to project confidence, and features Vanity Fair style shots of real Canadian execs dressed for success in print executions. ‘Traditionally we’ve always done print,’ says Dave Hamilton, an independent creative director who developed the campaign in partnership with Bob Goulart, who has worked as an advertising consultant for Harry Rosen since 2000. ‘We proposed the idea of a community-based blog that would allow them to extend the campaign, and [an] entry into online media as a way to promote it,’ he tells MiC.

In previous years, Harry Rosen used celebrities to promote its sleek threads, but now uses Canadian businessmen as both models and bloggers. An upcoming post on NewConfidence.HarryRosen.com will feature Freshii’s (formerly known as Lettuce Eatery) young CEO, Matthew Corrin. ‘He’s a great example of where this brand is going. He’s a young entrepreneur…he’s got a look that is very much business, but somehow very belies what the stereotype of our brand is,’ says Hamilton, who conducts the interviews and posts the blogs himself.

The online presence and e-commerce catalogue is meant to develop and engage their younger base of shoppers – men 34-plus who, either because they don’t live near a store or because of the pressures of their job, can’t get to a store as often as they’d like, explains Hamilton.

Larry Rosen also speaks to visitors in a video series about dressing for the economy called Dress Down. ‘The thing about this campaign is we’re talking to men who are hitting some of these challenges head on,’ says Hamilton about the campaign’s connection to the recession. ‘[Larry Rosen is] a unique individual to talk about this stuff because he’s going through it along with many of our customers as a business owner.’

Online ads running through mid-May on sites like GlobeAndMail.com and ProudFM.com have a link to ‘Join the discussion’ on the new blog, which receives about 500 visits per day. The media buy is handled by Julie McIlory at McIlroy & King Communications.