#EvolveTheDefinition is Bonobos’ attempt at expanding the current narrow definition of “masculine,” (which includes toxic synonyms like macho, powerful, red-blooded, vigorous), to help create a world where every man fits. The campaign’s statement piece is a 90 second video that took over YouTube and Twitter, culminating in a national broadcast premier during The ESPYs on ABC. The film showcases a spectrum of individuals reacting to the current definition of masculine, then offering alternative interpretations that expand the definition to become more accepting. In doing so, Bonobos is positioning themselves as not only the choice for better fitting pants, but a better fitting world.
#EvolveTheDefinition was inspired by the Bonobos philosophy: fit for every man. Of course, fit means so much more than clothes you wear. We saw a representation problem that affected more than just the fashion industry. It happened to be a problem that is antithetical to our client’s reason for being. There’s no better time than the present to make a change, so we seized the opportunity.
It might not be every brand’s responsibility to get involved in social issues, but if your value proposition is predicated on inclusiveness, you can’t ignore that many men in our society are made to feel like they don’t have a place, that they don’t fit in.
A micro-site (evolvethedefinition.com), created with partner Use All Five, backs up the statements made in the film. The web page houses 172 interviews with individuals across a spectrum of body shape, age, race, sexual orientation and gender identity. Visitors are then encouraged to add their own definition to help create tangible change.
Our hope is this positive representation of men will inspire others to feel like they fit. Fashion may have been off limits to certain people, but that’s not the case anymore. Everybody has the right to feel comfortable and confident in their clothing, and everybody should feel empowered to be comfortable and confident in their own skin. When that happens, we’re going to see a lot less aggression, and a lot more acceptance in the world.