Sportswear company to use comic strip in advertising

The Perry Ellis sports wear company is trying something new in their advertising campaigns – a comic strip.

But now Perry Ellis has decided to replace its leading man (most recently, the actor Jerry O’Connell; before him, the actor Paul Rudd) with something less predictable: a comic strip.

The new ad campaign features a male character in a series of settings that emulate real life, from pondering a job offer in a new city to approaching an attractive woman in a bar. (Naturally, the star of the comic strip is trim, good-looking and dressed in what appears to be Perry Ellis.) The ads are slated to run as four-page inserts, beginning in the March issues of more than a dozen U.S. magazines, including GQ, Cargo and Esquire.

Using comics in advertising is an old strategy that may be on the verge of a revival, thanks in part to the rising popularity of graphic novels among young men. Even Hollywood has caught on in recent years, adapting the graphic novels “Sin City” and “A History of Violence” to commercially successful films. And the target customer for Perry Ellis is typically a thirtysomething man who the company hopes will be drawn to the playfulness of a comic strip with the grown-up content of a graphic novel.

The story also mentions that the US Postal Services will be using Dilbert in an ad campaign later this spring.

Later this spring, the comic strip Dilbert is to appear in a direct-mail advertising campaign for the U.S. Postal Service. Scott Adams, Dilbert’s creator, said in an e-mail that comics can be effective for advertising a service that has no obvious physical form.

“The comic makes visual some aspect of each service so people can get their brains around it,” Adams said. “And if they laugh, that’s a good association too.”

He added: “Comics are a good match for products that are not inherently fascinating. Men’s pants look pretty much alike to me.”