Tracking IZOD: Goodbye 80's, Hello Indy

Our own Prentice Howe is now a regular columnist for His first column appeared February 25th and he riffed on the rebirth of the IZOD brand.

Enduring brands are never idle. They are ever-changing, ever-morphing, ever-adapting. They cause trends and get caught chasing them too, both as victor or victim. Yes, the long journey of a brand is an interesting study, and one of the more intriguing treks of late is IZOD. If you're over 35, you think of IZOD as a page straight out of The Preppy Handbook. IZOD conjures up images of a guy named Blair, sporting a popped collar, madras shorts, penny loafers and a sweater draped around his neck. However, to young, male sports enthusiasts, Blair occupies zero brain space, as they don't remember IZOD's ties to Lacoste and the iconic crocodile. They just see the brand as active and youthful, appealing to the kind of everyman who loves golf, motorsports and poker—and has never picked up a wooden tennis racket.

Today's IZOD is certainly not yesterday's IZOD, and to Mike Kelly, the brand's executive vice-president of marketing, that's just fine. The brand's rollercoaster journey, the up, the down, and now up again, tells Kelly that the brand is once again connecting with the consumer. Kelly attributes the brand's resurgence to better identifying the target audience, and reshaping the brand's marketing messages to that audience. "I just opened the new Vanity Fair," Kelly said. "The first four ads, I'm so bored. Same old, same old American brands, American flags, dogs in the Alaskan snow. It's falling more and more on deaf ears." This is why IZOD, and their parent company Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH), took a sharp turn. Literally.

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There have finally been a handful of pleasant, spring days in Austin and that always puts one thing on our minds: South by Southwest (March 12-21). Once again, Door Number 3 will be bringing you all the coverage, interviews and two cents from the marketing and advertising perspective we can muster.

The biggest news this year, which is sort of not surprising, is the continued growth of SXSW Interactive. 2009 was the largest attendance yet, and this year looks to top that. The nerdy younger brother of the SXSW family has finally come into his own and convincingly commands as many days as SXSW Music. Here are a few quick things that have been on the radar so far:

QR Codes (aka Quick Response Codes/Smartcodes) and location-based applications were around last year but expect 2010 to be their year. Everything from Austin-based Gowalla to QM Codes. In fact, every SXSW badge this year features a unique QR code to enable attendees to electronically "follow" people.

Kicking off SXSW Film is the comic book adaptation Kick Ass, which has used its series of Internet-only red band trailers to great effect.

"Surf music" definitely seems to be the trend this year when it comes to the hottest bands. Surfer Blood has gotten most of the hype, as has New Zealand-based Surf City, but we're holding out for NYC's The Drums.

Bookmark this link (Door Number 3 blog) for SXSW coverage starting March 15.

Stuff We're Into

Normally we wouldn't recommend counterfeiting money, but we promise it's for a good cause. To match the estimated cost needed to protect New Orleans' youth from lead contamination, the Fundred Dollar Bill Project wants at least 3 million Americans to create their own $100 bills. When their goal is met, they'll ask Congress for an equal contribution.

Bartering? Isn't that for, like, fur trappers? Don't tell the people behind OurGoods, a new social network that lets creative individuals share their resources. The site streamlines the process by matching up artists based on their "skills, spaces and objects."

Emotional Cities
"How are you today?" This leads to simple visualizations of how cities around the world are feeling that day. As of press time, Austin is in a better mood than Hollywood.

(h)earing aid
Hipsters don't believe it, but they too, get old. The (h)earing aid from Designaffairs is a way to cope. Crafted to resemble earplugs, this little bit of technology helps aging indie rockers keep their street cred. Still no word on if it'll make your band sound better.

It's exactly what it sounds like. Hit "Play" and Chatroulette will connect you to a randomly chosen user for a video chat. As with anything on the Internet, we recommend that you exercise caution (modify settings, deny chats), but why not mingle with the world?

Oh yes, we did! The 82nd Annual Academy Awards are taking place on March 7th, and we've pulled together our picks for the top spots.

Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazyheart)
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique (Precious)

These are pretty much no-brainers; Bridges, Bullock and Mo'Nique have all the goodwill right now, and even though Christoph Waltz is more of an unknown stateside, no one can deny how terrifying and funny his portrayal of Colonel Hans Landa is.

Animated Feature Film:
Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon
Documentary: The Cove
Basically every technical award: Avatar

Pixar has had the lock on Animated Feature Film every year, and even though The Fantastic Mr. Fox was a breath of fresh air, Up is hands down the better film. We're holding our breath for White Ribbon for its gorgeous cinematography, and The Cove is one of the most shocking, heartbreaking documentaries in recent memory.

Adapted Screenplay: Precious
Original Screenplay: Inglourious Basterds
Best Director: James Cameron (Avatar)
Best Picture: Avatar

Precious is a lock, and Quentin Tarantino will win for Best Screenplay because he won't win for Best Picture. Avatar and Hurt Locker have been neck and neck since awards season started. We've had a lot of debate about which film is most likely to win Director and Picture, and we're ultimately siding with Avatar. Even though everyone still hates his "King of the World" speech after winning for Titanic, there's no doubt Cameron's Avatar has made movie history.

Creative Corner
Fresh off the assembly line, here's a glimpse at some new work from Door Number 3.

The Alamo
On behalf of The Daughters of The Republic of Texas (DRT), Door Number 3 has created Allies of The Alamo, The Alamo's first-ever membership campaign. Creative includes the program's name, the official logo for The Alamo, a print and poster campaign, and a multilayered collateral effort including brochures, direct mail, on-site signage and a membership kit.

The campaign launched February 23rd at a special ceremony inside The Alamo Mission with 500 people in attendance to be the first to cross the line and join the Allies.

Shown: Print and logo design. Visit our site for full campaign.

Austin Film Festival
The AFF, one of Austin's cultural gems, includes a highly coveted screenplay/teleplay competition, writer's workshops, and films where the honors go to the screenwriters. With good reason, the AFF has become known as "The Writer's Festival."

Shown: Call for entries poster and Official Selection logo design.


Clockwise from top: Marble Falls, Texas; Cheryl Copeland; Austin Film Festival.

Door Number 3 started off 2010 with some new clients. We are developing new messaging and creative, and planning and placing media to drive tourism for two beautiful Texas Hill Country destinations, Burnet County and the City of Marble Falls.

Now showing: Austin Film Festival chose Door Number 3 to design all their promotional collateral and call for entries for their 2010 film festival happening in October. They are known as "The Writer's Festival," so our work, shown in this newsletter, gives a nod to those writers who pound out scripts we love.

We also welcome Turner Residential. This real estate company specializes in Central Austin properties and wants the agency to create a new website that's infused with all the energy and uniqueness that is our fair city. The new site will launch later this spring.

DN3 welcomes new Doorkeeper Cheryl Copeland. Cheryl has over 11 years of account management experience, on both the client and agency side with strong tourism, healthcare, consumer products, manufacturing and education chops. Cheryl spent four years as director of marketing for the Warren County CVB in Ohio and, most recently, as senior marketing manager at TimberTech, a leading manufacturer of outdoor building products. Cheryl moved here from Ohio when she decided to "listen to my Jamaican roots and move to a warmer climate and city with lots of life!"

DN3: Allies of The Alamo

Door Number 3 was at The Alamo on February 23rd to celebrate the launch of our new campaign. Here you'll see event signage, a friendly old soul dressed in period attire, and Doorkeepers from the creative team.

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