I have a new favorite tv commercial. It’s for Haggar slacks with the flexible waistband. Granted, that’s not a new concept, but the way the pants were advertised yesterday is new. The commercial starts out looking like a home improvement show with a couple of average-looking guys my age welcoming us back to the show and today’s project: How to get rid of your daughter’s worthless boyfriend (some young slob with a game-controller in his hand is shown sprawled across Dad’s couch).
Of course, the guy-mantra I grew up with is “the right tool for the right job” and in the case of this commercial that means you’re going to want the Haggar slacks with the (whatever-they-call-it) waistband, that stretches and flexes with you even if you’re moving vigorously, as one of the guys demonstrates by grabbing the slob and propelling him through a large open window, saying that the flexible waistband comes in handy “when you gotta grab a squirmy one.”
While the commercial is funny, the thing that really caught my attention is that Haggar is embracing its image as being “older-guy” pants. This is a daring strategy. Even though there are a lot more older guys around now than there are young skinny-waisted whippersnappers, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we embrace the physical changes in our lives, especially being part of the generation that has been sold youth for the the past 30 years. That’s why you don’t see a lot of prime-time commercials selling ear and nose-hair trimmers, and why ads for Viagra and Cialis feature robust, virile-looking men with a touch of gray throwing footballs or, I don’t know, gutting a grizzly bear or something and not some balding, paunchy guy struggling to twist the cap off the bottle with his Cheetos-stained and arthritic fingers.
Through humor and attitude I think I’m coming to grips with my faithful but aging and sometimes gimpy body, and it’s kind of fun to see Haggar doing the same and talking right at me instead of down to me or telling me I can still make people think I’m young by wearing the right kind of stylish pants. I don’t remember the last time I had any Haggar pants — it might have been a pair my mom bought me when I was in high school. Before this commercial I wouldn’t have thought of Haggar when it was time to buy pants, but now I think I might buy some. Better yet:
Note to the Mall Diva: since you’re concerned about my pants (see post below), you might want to get me a couple of pair of these for Christmas. Darker colors, please, because the blood stains don’t show up as much.