PAPER CHASE: DKNY’s new ad campaign is inspired by one of life’s great pleasures: reading the Sunday paper. Shot by Peter Lindbergh and styled by Patricia Field, the campaign breaks in the March issues of five magazines — Vogue, Vanity Fair, British Vogue, W and Interview — in the form of an insert created to look and feel like the style section of a newspaper — specifically, The New York Times. (Vogue, Vanity Fair and W are all part of Advance Publications Inc., parent of WWD.)
The concept had its genesis in DKNY’s fall show at Pastis, which had a Sunday brunch theme. “Donna wanted it to be a reflection of the show,” said Trey Laird, president of Laird + Partners, which handles advertising for all of Donna Karan’s brands. “What do people do on Sunday morning in New York? The first thing you do is read the Times.”
The newsprint insert was Karan’s flourish. “It was supposed to look like a newspaper, and I said, ‘Forget about looking like a newspaper — make it a newspaper,’” she said. Karan added that she liked the format because it allowed for the presentation of so many different looks without resorting to a collage. “It’s a huge brand to get out, and we keep on trying to capture it all in one picture.”
The campaign, which will include ordinary singles and spreads in a wide range of magazines, also lends itself to a variety of clever marketing ploys, including newsracks and street teams of newsboys to hand out the insert.
And what section of the Sunday Times does Karan reach for, to borrow from the commercial? “OK, I turn to the Style section first. I’ll admit it.”
TO AND ‘FRO: Malcolm Gladwell’s job doesn’t sound all that sexy: He’s a journalist who writes mostly about the science of how people process and act on information. But Gladwell, who’s a staff writer at The New Yorker (a unit of Advance Publications Inc., parent of WWD) has been called a guru, a rock star and a marketing god. A party Fast Company threw Tuesday night to celebrate the publication of his new book, “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” drew a capacity crowd to Elaine’s, the Upper East Side literary haunt.
This story first appeared in the January 14, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Asked whether he’d rather be known as “guru” or “rock star,” Gladwell replied, “Who wouldn’t prefer rock star? Unfortunately, I don’t think either is in the cards.” Worried lest anyone should think his head had grown along with his Afro, he added, “I don’t, by the way, think of myself as a guru, so let’s just be clear about that.”
The anti-diva thing isn’t just an act, confirmed Danielle Sacks, who wrote the cover story on Gladwell in January’s Fast Company. “He’s strikingly a mellow guy,” she said. “He literally looks at his life like a case study. He’s intrigued by things that happen to him but doesn’t take them personally.” But Sacks could attest to the Elvis-like effect Gladwell has on his fans in the business world: “You mention his name and people freak out — they get so excited.”
In other Fast Company news, owner Gruner + Jahr, which merged the title’s sales staff with that of Inc. last April, is now preparing to unmerge them. Lee Jones, who now serves as group publisher of both titles, will resume his role as publisher of Inc., and Fast Company will hire a new publisher of its own.