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NEW YORK — Calvin Klein is targeting all those guys who crave gadgets, sports, music and sex.

In what industry sources estimate will be a $45 million advertising and marketing blitz, Calvin Klein Cosmetics will unfurl a multitiered global marketing and advertising campaign for its new young men’s fragrance, Crave, that breaks Labor Day weekend. The strategic plan will kick off with guerrilla marketing and a grassroots campaign, followed by a radio promotion and print and TV advertising.

This story first appeared in the August 2, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Crave is expected to drum up retail sales of $85 million worldwide from October through December, industry sources said. It will be distributed to 20,000 doors in 90 countries at the end of September.

The effort begins Labor Day weekend at five beaches in the U.S., as well as several international beaches. In the U.S., Crave will be introduced in South Beach, Daytona Beach, Fla., and Venice Beach, Calif., as well as a lake in Chicago and a Northeast beach to be determined. Sand sculptures will be created of the product’s icon — a stylized symbol for male — and beach umbrellas, towels and volleyballs will sport the Crave icon. A gaming tent will be set up in a central location on the beach with Playstation 2 games and a DJ. Street teams of young men and women, dressed in Calvin Klein bikinis, CK Jeans and T-shirts, and carrying CK messenger bags, will hand out samples of Crave, as well as water bottles and Frisbees, on the beaches and at sporting events, concerts, skateboarding competitions and 37 college campuses in the U.S., and 500 college and high school campuses throughout Europe and the Middle East.

The grassroots campaign will continue in clubs, bars and in stores around the world. Street teams will use chalk to stencil orange Crave icons on the pavement outside cool restaurants and bars around the country, which will use stirrers, coasters, stickers and napkins bearing the icon.

“We want to make an impact and work our way through the weekend. It will start on Thursday and Friday and build up to Saturday,” said Hilary Dart, president of Calvin Klein Cosmetics. Some 15 million samples will be given out during this phase of the campaign, hitting 20 markets in the U.S. and 27 cities in Europe. In addition, Klein will hand out 1.4 million small overnight kits that contain Crave hair-body wash packettes, scented towelettes, a comb and a condom.

“It’s not controversial. We’re not promoting anything conceptually. We’re hitting people at night when they’re out having fun,” said Kim Vernon, senior vice president of global advertising and communications at Calvin Klein Inc.

Calvin Klein Cosmetics will also run a radio promotion where 9,000 large overnight kits will be given away. Dubbed “if your dinner date becomes breakfast,” the kits contain the Crave scent, a shower gel packette, towelette, CK Body Underwear, toothbrush, toothpaste, breath mints, a condom, a music CD and a nightmask in a Calvin Klein dopp kit. The promotion will air on three radio stations in 30 markets. Over a 24-hour period, local DJs will give away one overnight kit an hour. The radio campaign is expected to reach 12 million consumers, said Dart.

The actual fragrance will be sold as part of a fragrance bar, with some stores having freestanding clear and orange Crave displays.

Breaking in October magazines is a print campaign, created by Baron & Baron and Klein’s in-house ad agency CRK, starring Travis that was shot by Steven Klein. “Travis is such a great role model for the essence of the brand,” said Dart. The picture of Travis runs next to an image of the Crave bottle and icon. The ads will run in magazines such as GQ, Details, Men’s Health, Maxim, HFM, Teen People and Cosmogirl. It will be accompanied by outdoor advertising on billboards and subway stations internationally, including 13 high-impact locations that will be branded with Crave, including wrapped wall and floor decals that will be up for two weeks.

TV spots will begin in October and run through December. Directed by Baron and Steven Klein, they will feature Travis playing his CD, dancing and sliding across the room on his skateboard. The ads will run in 18 countries on MTV, ESPN and spot TV. Primetime shows include “Friends,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and an array of sporting events.

For the final element of the marketing campaign, Crave has created a Web site,, that goes live Sept. 2. One of the TV ads will play on the site, and Web surfers will be able to e-mail and text message at the same time and send multiple text messages. The company has developed a series of caricatures of Travis that can be e-mailed to friends. “It’s a free service,” said Vernon.

“What we learned about him [the Crave target customer] and key elements he looks for are: He needs to be respected, he needs innovation and needs fun,” said Dart.

Dart explained that although the target is 15- to 24-year-old men, “The sweet spot is 18 to 24. They’re very sophisticated. They know what they want. Their disposable income is high. Fragrance is a substantial part of their lives.”

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