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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

RSVLTS: “Flannel…With A Little Stretch”

Finalist in Video Ad


RSVLTS is an apparel brand famous for its loud, officially-licensed, pop-culture-themed designs. The kind of gear you see comic book, movie, and TV fanatics wearing at Comic Cons across the country and beyond. However, a lot of people may not realize we also offer a variety of unlicensed, non-IP apparel that features original designs for everyday wear, such as classic shirts, jackets, polos, flannels, etc. While some of this more basic gear also contains our typical attention-grabbing patterns, a lot features more subtle styles that most people might not associate with RSVLTS, in particular our emerging line of soft and stretchy flannels: BorlandFlex™. 

Cutting straight to the point: in 2022, the RSVLTS BorlandFlex line had quite a lackluster launch. While the product itself was fantastic quality, it lacked an identity and voice to break through a cluttered space (there are zillion flannel brands/options), even among our loyal fanbase. So with this ad, our goal was to give this great gear the treatment it deserved. We wanted to simultaneously introduce new and existing customers to this more traditional RSVLTS-branded apparel line, while showcasing the brand’s fun, don't-take-ourselves-too-seriously personality. 

It was time to break down barriers and reshape perceptions (or mis-perceptions) among those who thought we were one dimensional, and welcome a whole new demographic to the RSVLTS family. To show that the brand is not just for Star Wars fanatics and Marvel superfans, but for everybody – with our BorlandFlex Flannels leading the charge. 

Strategy and Execution

During planning, the question became, “How do we let people know that we’re a fun company with a great sense of humor while also marketing a relatively subdued line of flannel shirts?” The answer? Duh…let’s create a BorlandFlex Flannel ad for the new collection that leaves viewers laughing, sharing, and saying, “Who are these guys? They’re hilarious. I gotta check them out!” 

From the start, the biggest challenge faced was the fact that RSVLTS does not have a traditional advertising agency to support, nor had we ever done anything anywhere near this caliber in-house. That meant we’d be doing this all ourselves, on top of our day-to-day responsibilities. It was time to roll up the sleeves. 

The next challenge was coming up with a killer insight and theme – more specifically, a thematic throughline that showcased a unique point-of-difference for our flannels while also serving as a vehicle for the wit of the ad itself. The aim was to evoke humor from something relatable among our core demo: everyday 30-something guys. As an insight, we honed in on the fact that when guys get together, they love telling “old war stories”: sports victories, past flings, wild accomplishments, and tons of other hullabaloo. Self-aware, we also realized that the older guys get, the more exaggerated the stories become.

Feeling good about the humor element of the commercial, we were now challenged to tie in an element of the flannels themselves that we wanted to promote. One aspect that sets BorlandFlex apart from competitors is that they are spandex-infused, therefore they offer more stretch than a typical flannel. So the shirts stretch, and of course the stories stretch…EUREKA! We had our theme: “Flannel…with a little stretch.”

Next came the script. We knew we had to write something gripping and universally hilarious. We explored tons of exaggerated stories for the guys to tell, ultimately narrowing it down to the ones we felt were the funniest while also being the most relatable – like how a curiously high number of men claim to be six feet tall, for instance. In terms of casting the group, it was very important that we find likable actors who’d come across as good dudes telling harmless tales, rather than brash liars, or the whole ad would feel off.

Once we found our guys, we made sure they had some time to get to know each other the morning of the shoot so the on-screen chemistry would feel real. After a variety of takes over 12-hours (and tons of on-set laughs), we felt really good about how BorlandFlex was portrayed. When the final edit was rendered, we had an in-office viewing party and the place went wild with laughter. So we celebrated…with a three day nap.


Our objective was to create a breakthrough ad that promoted BorlandFlex Flannels to our targets while fully highlighting the brand’s unique personality. Given our modest budget and the fact that we did everything in-house, the results far exceeded even our own expectations. The ad had a massive impact on 2023 BorlandFlex collection sales and garnered unbelievable viewer response from the second it went live across RSVLTS social platforms and YouTube – both with limited paid support.

Success metrics include: 

Therefore, by no stretch (ah-hem) of the words: mission accomplished! 


Video for RSVLTS: “Flannel…With A Little Stretch”

Entrant Company / Organization Name

RSVLTS (Roosevelts)


Entry Credits