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SA: Playing it Safe in 2nd Half

NEW YORK -- Some of fashion's big ad spenders are approaching the second half with tight fists.<BR><BR>Clearly, that isn't good news for magazines hoping to reverse a weak first quarter and, in many cases, a disappointing second quarter.<BR><BR>While...

NEW YORK — Some of fashion’s big ad spenders are approaching the second half with tight fists.

Clearly, that isn’t good news for magazines hoping to reverse a weak first quarter and, in many cases, a disappointing second quarter.

While many of their budgets are conservative, advertisers are hoping their creative efforts won’t be. They will experiment with onserts, multi-page inserts, foldouts, catalogs — and, where pockets are deeper, TV.

Big-name models continue to be a must. And Kate Moss will still be breezing by on your local bus. In fact, fashion firms are stepping outdoors in big numbers, increasing their appearances on buses, phone kiosks and billboards, especially in New York and Los Angeles.

Amid all the restraint, outdoor advertising is booming and momentum should continue through the second half. “Business is growing rapidly in the fashion field,” said Jodi Yegelwel, senior vice president of TDI, the largest diversified out-of-home media company in the U.S., which leases space on billboards, phone kiosks, bus exteriors and other vehicles.

She said that since 1991, TDI’s fashion business — including Calvin Klein, DKNY, Pepe and Kenar — has grown from 3.6 percent of its total business to an estimated 9.5 percent in 1994. TDI did $153 million in sales in 1993, and is running 10 percent ahead in 1994, she said.

Here, a spot check of second-half plans.

Calvin Klein will stand by Kate Moss, despite the backlash from Boycott Anorexic Marketing, a Boston-based group that opposes Klein’s use of waif-like models in ads.

“She’s the deal, and we’re going all the way with her,” said Neil Kraft, senior vice president, advertising and creative services at Calvin Klein Inc. “She’s not anorexic. She eats a lot,” he added. Moss will appear in all the Collection and CK ads, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier, among others. Meanwhile, the search is still on for someone to fill former pitchman Marky Mark’s shorts.

“Our budget for the second half’s about the same — maybe a touch less,” added Kraft. The media will include magazines and inserts, as well as “a large portion” spent on outdoor ads.

TV and print will be used to launch Klein’s new unisex fragrance, One. That campaign is funded by Unilever Ltd., Klein’s fragrance licensee.

Armed with a flat ad budget, The Lee Co. is taking a new tack in advertising its female jeans in the second half. Rather than promote its misses’ jeans, geared to women 25 to 44, in mainstream publications such as McCall’s, Parents and Redbook, Lee is going after a faster fashion crowd. With a new campaign by Fallon, McElligott, Lee will advertise its redesigned junior jeans line — geared to women between 14 and 34 — in magazines such as Glamour, Vogue, Elle, Seventeen and Cosmopolitan. The ads have a younger attitude and are more lifestyle and image-driven, said Mike Robertson, director of marketing communications for Lee.

Lee will also continue its “high-impact marketing program” for its jeans, with TV commercials that will break on various network premieres, beginning in September.

Pepe Jeans, whose contract with Jason Priestley expired last fall, switched to Bridget Hall as its featured model for the current spring campaign. It will continue with Hall for fall.

For the Donna Karan Co., the only big ad increase will come in its beauty advertising, where the budget is up 50 percent. TV, as well as print, will be used to launch new beauty products this fall. For Peter Arnell and Donna Karan, it’s the last hurrah. He photographed Karan’s treatment ads that will break in the fall. Karan has moved her advertising in-house.

Kenar Ltd. got lots of mileage out of its Times Square billboard that originally featured Linda Evangelista, and now showcases Helena Christensen. While Kenar won’t be giving up Christensen, Kenneth Zimmerman, Kenar’s chief executive officer, said a “big surprise” is planned for fall. Linda and Helena?

Kenar’s ad budget is flat for the second half.

Escada has increased its ad budget for the second half, largely to support its new line, Escada Sport.

Escada Sport’s campaign will feature several models.

The Escada collection campaign, photographed by Albert Watson, is markedly different than previous ads that had one giant image with an outdoor background and about 30 smaller photos on the border. The fall campaign will feature one cropped shot of Yasmeen Ghauri against a white background, spread over two pages.

Bucking the trend of flat ad budgets are Levi, Strauss & Co. and Tommy Hilfiger.

Levi’s 1994 women’s jeans ad budget is the most it’s ever been. The company will continue to use network and cable TV, including MTV, various Fox Network prime time shows, “Late Night” with David Letterman and “Saturday Night Live,” in addition to print.

Tommy Hilfiger, who’s launching a women’s line in 1995, isn’t quite ready to tip his women’s image yet, but he’s amassed an advertising war chest of $14 million — three times higher than 1993’s — to build his men’s businesses this year.