What sells? Sex, sports, celebs — and skivvies.

The 2008 WWD100 consumer survey of brand recognition is a refl ection of the times. Brands certainly get a boost when they’re attached to a famous face, spotted on the red carpet, blasted in the background of a major sports event or decorating the shirt of a star athlete. But the most familiar brands aren’t necessarily the ones grabbing the biggest headlines. They are often the day-in, day-out staples of American wardrobes, accessible to a broad audience and available in a vast number of retail outlets. Giant ad campaigns in all sorts of traditional and new media keep the brand in consumer consciousness — and a bargain price point goes a long way, too, especially in these purse-strangling times.

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