By  on June 20, 2007

A print ad in the Eighties for the first Stetson men's fragrance declared, "If the Stetson fits, wear it."

Some 25 years later Coty Beauty has plunked that Stetson hat on the head of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for its new ad campaign.

The San Francisco native, 29, might not be a cowboy, per se, but he's comfortable getting dirty, particularly on the Stetson ad shoot that took place in Big Sky Ranch located in Simi Valley, Calif. "I roll around in the dirt for a living," he quipped.

The all-American football star first discovered Stetson in his father's medicine cabinet and insists it's the first fragrance he ever wore. Coty chose Brady to broaden Stetson's positioning from Western to rugged masculinity, said Steve Mormoris, senior vice president of global marketing for Coty Beauty. "The image of the cowboy is more folklore than reality," said Mormoris, explaining Stetson's decision to modernize the brand. "We realized that Stetson needed to reach beyond its Western heritage.

"An athlete of the caliber of Tom Brady is the epitome of masculinity because he's strong and he's a leader," said Mormoris, noting that Brady has played in, and won, three Super Bowls before the age of 30.

The advertising campaign featuring Brady, dubbed "Set Free," is slated to break this fall, and will include print and TV. TV spots — which feature the rock song "Slow Ride" by Foghat — will show Brady driving a vintage Mustang convertible in hot pursuit of his cowboy hat, which has been blown off by the wind. Alongside the convertible is a galloping thoroughbred racehorse. The visual is a departure from traditional Stetson ads, which typically featured a cowboy on horseback and country music, noted Mormoris. He added that the TV ad will have a three-year run.

Coty also plans to build the fragrance franchise with a variety of scents. The line extensions are slated to follow the fall relaunch of Stetson Original, a woody chypre fragrance, include Stetson Fresh, described as a fresh chypre with a citrus top note, and Stetson Black, a spicy varietal that is planned for later next year.Mormoris said that Stetson is the number-one men's fragrance brand in the U.S. mass market and is sold in 30,000 doors. Industry sources estimate the Brady-backed revamp, with an estimated marketing budget of $3 million, could fuel the brand's sales, which are roughly $100 million, by 20 to 50 percent in the next two or three years.

Brady described his personal style as comfortable and offered some friendly style advice to men as well: "Dress your age, smell like a man and have fun with it."

Given his much publicized relationship with Gisele Bündchen, his approach seems to be working. He acknowledged that his teammates pester him about getting set up on dates with the beautiful, high-profile set, saying, "I can incentivize them by saying I'll bring them a few dates if we win the game.

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