Duluth Trading Catalog: A Caricature of the Midwesterner

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Duluth Trading Holiday 2018 Catalog

The Duluth Trading catalog is one that I’ve had my eye on for some time because of the playful copy that is jam-packed with personality. The best way I can describe the copy is that it feels like a caricature of a Midwesterner. This goes right along with the illustrations that they use on their current website and the television commercials they’re known for. And, it’s a good thing.

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Screen capture of their beaver illustrations–because websites change and links break.

Words like “gumption” and “wimpy” along with wordplay like “a notch above the rest” used to headline a spread of belts, have a corny feel, but are also charmingly Midwestern. (The company is based in Duluth, Minnesota.)

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“Give Gumption by the Gift Load” (Not going to lie, “gumption” is one of my favorite words.)
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“Take a holiday from wimpy jeans.”
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“A Notch Above the Rest”

Duluth doesn’t shy away from its geography; the company embraces it. The copy speaks directly to people who, yes, actually enjoy winter, or who are at least willing to handle the weather with optimism. Wait! Isn’t that the definition of a Midwesterner?

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The opening page of the catalog. This is just a nice piece of copy.
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“Frolic” is another charming word, but this headline has a tough attitude with a positive outlook.

But, the copy isn’t all fun fluff. One thing that I took note of was the fabric weight callouts within some of the product descriptions, like the Fire Hose Work Pants.

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Duluthflex Fire Hose Work Pants

This copy calls out the “tough yet flexible 8-oz. fabric” and the pocket bags that are “made from 5-oz. cotton so they won’t bust a hole on you.” The use of specific fabric weight of these pants puts a technical slant on the offering. Whether you know the difference between 8-oz. and 5-oz. fabric, it sounds tough and technical.

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Flexible 8-oz. fabric.

Now, every fabric has a weight, but you probably won’t see the exact weight listed for the average ready-to-wear piece. The most common callouts are lightweight, mediumweight or heavyweight. So, including the numerical weight of the fabric these pants are made from is a nice touch. As I’ve written, copywriting is often all about including the right details.

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Duluth Woman

Another thing I’m glad to see Duluth Trading continuing is their use of “real life” models. I snapped a pic of this particular woman because she’s from my home state of Alaska! When you see a real user of their products featured in their catalogs, it’s easy to believe that their clothing is tested and trusted. I’ve written about using real people in catalogs before. It’s a nice way to add extra interest to the catalog and make a reader see themselves wearing/using the items because, hey, these women are just like me!

With a strong brand and copy that expresses it, the Duluth Trading catalog is an interesting read–even if you’re not in the market for work clothing or outdoor gear.

One thought on “Duluth Trading Catalog: A Caricature of the Midwesterner

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2018 – T-Bud Co. Creative

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