Calvin Klein, not so “retro” anymore!
A group of very different men were sitting in a bar during a cold Chicago night. We ranged from 25-38 in age, all worked in different industries and did not agree on which was the best sushi joint in town. One thing lead to another and we started discussing brands’ personalities. I informed the group that a personal favorite of mine was Calvin Klein clothing and how I felt that their clothes almost always acts as an extension of my personality. As if rehearsed, I got few confused looks back. When I asked about what the others thought I was told that they thought that CK had an “old people” image attached to them. We then got to talking about that the brand and its advertisements and some people thought it was unable to keep up with the times and seemed more “retro” than modern. I am convinced that that night the branding and marketing experts from CK were sitting few tables away from us because a month or two later Calvin Klein Underwear launched a new global integrated campaign that was so so un-retro.
This is what happened in case you missed it. Feburary 3rd, 2010, Calvin Klein Underwear releases a press release introducing the new global marketing campaign. Helen McKluskey, president of Warnaco Intimate Apparel and Swim states that they are “appealing to CK’s worldwide consumers today and reaching them through the media that’s relevant to them”. Read: FACEBOOK!
A week or so after the release, teaser videos started appearing on Facebook’s side banners. Nothing too revealing but what you saw grabbed your attention immediately. CK was able, right there and then, to start the conversation with their consumers. If that video was longer than 17 seconds I would have, probably, skipped on clicking the link in the description field that directed me into a micro-site for the product. Those 17 seconds caused my curiosity (and many others I’m sure) to go ahead and sign up to receive updates and news about the product, establishing brand loyalty. April roles around and you are finally able to see full featured videos, after much anticipation.
Another brilliant strategy was the implementation of “behind the scenes” videos that allowed consumers to get to know, more in depth, the four international faces of Calvin Klein X that were already very well known in today’s pop culture.
Calvin Klein has been known for racy ad campaigns (remember the suggestive Brook Shields one?) but what distinguishes this one from the others is the clever use of media to engage consumers. As “in your face” as the ads were I believe that that was an important part in order to grab the interest of the easily bored consumers today that grew accustomed to the over-saturated web.
That aspect impressed me the most and I couldn’t have been happier to call the group, from that cold winter night, and let them know that CK is indeed modern in their approach to connecting with consumers.
Here’s one of the teaser videos that started appearing on the web back in Feburary. Warning, as mentioned before, it is a bit racy and “in your face” .
What do you think about the campaign? Would you have done anything else differently?