Cotton Inc. Unveils New Ads

Leona Lewis and Colbie Caillat sing Cotton Inc.'s marketing jingle in new commercials.

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NEW YORK — Cotton Incorporated is looking to link consumers’ associations to cotton with high fashion in the next evolution of its “The Fabric of My Life” campaign.

This story first appeared in the April 9, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Recording artists Leona Lewis and Colbie Caillat will be unveiled Monday as the latest singers to offer their interpretations of the well-known “the touch, the feel of cotton” marketing jingle. Two commercials were created by DDB New York and styled by Anthony Franco, and will show Lewis and Caillat wearing designs from Dries Van Noten, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen.

Ric Hendee, senior vice president of consumer marketing for Cotton Inc., said the original Fabric of Our Lives campaign from the Nineties was successful in getting consumers to recognize how cotton was a crucial and desirable fiber in everything from socks to jeans to towels. For the last several years, the message has shifted to presenting cotton as a fiber equally suited to designer apparel.

“The idea that cotton could be beautiful and produced by great designers and be high-end clothes is the message we’ve been hammering on,” said Hendee.

Caillat, who has won two Grammy awards, added her own original melody and lyrics to the commercial. Lewis is a three-time Grammy nominee and is the first artist from the United Kingdom to be involved in the campaign. Extended versions of the songs will be available online as well as a range of bonus material, such as behind the scenes footage from the video and campaign shoots.

Cotton Inc. revived the Fabric of My Life campaign in 2009, featuring female artists across musical genres. Jazmine Sullivan represented rhythm and blues, Miranda Lambert country and Zooey Deschanel for pop music. The addition of Lewis and Caillat is aimed at reinforcing a connection to the 18- to 34-year-old female target demographic. Hendee also acknowledged that, as up-and-coming artists, Lewis and Caillat have a built in network of followers that is on the rise. Those followers are likely to seek out the additional online content, giving the campaign a strong social media aspect.

The campaign will run in 30- and 15-second TV spots, but Hendee said Cotton Inc. has also made a significant online advertising buy.

“TV is a difficult medium these days because so many people fast forward [through commercials], so we’re using the Internet as an extension of TV,” said Hendee.

“We think we did the right thing to tie into celebrity and bring back the familiar phrase,” he added. “It’s helping give us a significant awareness boost.”

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