Calvin Klein is switching on its new “digital-first” strategy to boost its jeans and underwear business this spring.
“Our Now” is the theme of the new Calvin Klein #MyCalvins campaign, which breaks Tuesday, featuring a cast of some well-known and not so well-known characters. Taking a digital-first approach, the new campaign embraces a coming-of-age concept evoking universal truths of curiosity, companionship, sexual exploration and the spirit of rebellion.
And by the look of things, sexy images are back on the table.
The campaign features celebrities such as Shawn Mendes, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter who appears in his first Calvin Klein campaign; actor Noah Centineo; Kendall Jenner, and A$AP Rocky. In addition, it includes Jasmine Daniels, Anna Ewers, Jiali Zhao, Lulu Tenney, Ernesto Cervantes, Fernando Albaladejo and Timo Baumann.
The ads will be featured globally and supported by digital, social, high-impact outdoor locations and print. The main campaign images and video were taken by Glen Luchford and styled by Melanie Ward. New content will be introduced continuously throughout the season, including a series of product-focused images photographed by Tyler Mitchell.
For spring, Calvin Klein is prioritizing the mobile experience with a heavier focus on video. Video is running across all paid media channels, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and out-of-home. The company will also advertise on outdoor locations with high foot traffic.
The campaign launch will also mark the brand’s appearance on TikTok, a platform for short-form mobile videos popular with the Gen Z demographic. The company looks to engage a younger audience through exclusive videos and native hashtag challenges. These videos encourage user-generated content.
It’s been a tumultuous few months for Calvin Klein, which parted ways with its chief creative officer Raf Simons last December.
After releasing disappointing third quarter results in late November, Calvin Klein said it would take a more digital-first approach, starting in February. In December, the company sent a correspondence to publishers, saying going forward it would pursue a “consumer-centric” marketing strategy and the brand would shift to a digital-first, socially amplified model with video the preferred format. It also said it would exit pure print advertising, effective in February. The correspondence further stated that all future partnerships would be led by digital content and they would only consider print pages as a complement to these programs.
The move to digital was a result of the poor third-quarter performance of Calvin Klein Jeans and Calvin Klein 205W39NYC collection, which has since been shelved and will be relaunched under a new name. The company also said at the time it planned to make the lines more commercial.
Many, but not all, of Klein’s campaigns under Simons were shot by Willy Vanderperre. The spring 2018 campaign featured more than 20 models shot in and around a weathered barn, and the models carried totemic objects created by Simons’ collaborator, artist Sterling Ruby. The fall 2019 campaign was shot on a rugged and remote landscape in Utah. The fall 2018 Jeans ads featured 36 individuals from around the world celebrating youth culture. The models posed in an enormous open billboard, inspired by the Stars & Stripes. The ads featured brother and sister Presley and Kaia Gerber, along with Tenney, Albaladejo, Dylan Christensen, Sebastian Rosemarie, Selena Forrest, Skylar Tartz, Sunnaya, and Tucker Tripp.