Duluth Trading Co., a quirky, but no-nonsense work apparel company based in Belleville, Wis., is coming to Chicago this Friday to find out whether people here suffer from what is quaintly known as "plumber's butt."
For the uninitiated, that would be a problem that arises when a plumber -- or anyone for that matter -- bends over and his or her shirt becomes untucked, thereby exposing a significant part of the person's lower back. The plumber's butt investigation has been conveniently timed to coincide with the kitchen and bath trade show in Chicago. To test for the problem, Duluth Trading representatives will be roaming the streets with an "Exposure Meter," a four-foot apparatus designed to measure levels of backside skin exposure. Levels of exposure range from "not so modest" at the low end to "there's been a breach" and "overexposed" for the worst offenders.
The plumber's butt exercise is part of an ongoing effort by Duluth Trading to gain wider exposure among consumers. The company also is currently testing a fun TV ad campaign developed by Planet Propaganda in Madison, Wis. The ads are being tested in Madison, Minneapolis and Denver. No decision about whether the campaign will go national is expected until the end of the year. In the meantime, the company will continue to try and lure new customers with its colorful catalogues and their straightfoward product descriptions designed to suggest this company means business. Or should we say work.