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A branding, not a back-to-school campaign for Stubbies Schoolwear


A branding, not a back-to-school campaign for Stubbies Schoolwear


This case study was submitted by Gerry McCusker of Engage ORM. To submit a case please email [email protected] for the guidelines.


Brand: Stubbies Schoolwear
Client: Pacific Brands
Creative agency: Fenton Stephens Advertising
Media agency: Mediacom
Online strategy: Chisholm & Harper

In recent years we have seen the proliferation of the home brand
in many consumer markets. The market for schoolwear is no different.
Most discount department stores now produce their own brand of
schoolwear, increasing their margins by cutting out the middle man.

However, recent research on the schoolwear market revealed that many mums would prefer to buy a brand they know and trust. In fact, it
revealed that mums are happy to pay a small price premium to be safe in
the knowledge that they have put their kids in good quality gear that
won’t fall apart and have them looking sloppy at school, and in turn,
is easy to care for.

Stubbies has produced schoolwear since 1972, and the research
revealed those that know the brand believe it stands for quality.
While Stubbies researched as well as any other, there was definitely
an opportunity to be the brand of choice within the category, as no one

Objectives & Strategy

The challenge was to raise awareness among mums that Stubbies is the quality brand within the schoolwear category.

Rather than yet another back to school campaign that simply showed product after product, usually with an associated price, it was felt a brand campaign was more appropriate. Stubbies is not positioned on price, it is positioned on quality, so a brand campaign that connected with mums was felt to be the strategy it could own. However, it had to be done on a small budget.

To connect with mums we really needed to demonstrate some empathy, or insight, into what it is like being a parent of kids when they are due to go back to school.


The selection of media was critical in ensuring the small budget was utilised fully. In our favour was that the back to school period is relatively short, running ostensibly for the month of January only.

As many mums with young kids are home during the day, it was felt daytime TV would be a cost effective way of reaching the target, coupled with the fact that advertising rates during this period are generally cheaper as it is out of ratings period.

The 30-second TVC, produced by brand revival agency Fenton Stephens Advertising, concentrated on the mix of emotions parents can experience during the time when kids go back to school: from sadness, to pride, to downright relief (the insight being that finally mum gets some time to herself again.). The TVC was complimented by point of sale imagery across Big W and independent schoolwear specialists Australia wide.

Meanwhile, a new website was developed in cooperation with digital partner Chisholm & Harper. The strategy behind the sites design was to make it as easy as possible for current or potential Stubbies customers to find out what they want to know. It’s a mother-friendly, helpful and practical site, located at www.stubbies.com.au.


  • Sell in to retailers increased by 14% year on year. 
  • Big W sell through to consumers up by 12.5% year on year.
  • Target sell through to consumers up by 7.5% year on year.
  • Stubbies sales to retailers up by 7.5 – 8% year on year.

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