CALVIN’S MANY MOODS
Byline: Alev Aktar
NEW YORK — Modern women juggle careers, husbands, lovers, children and the vacuum cleaner. This jumble of roles inspired Calvin Klein’s new women’s fragrance, Contradiction, and also informed his choice of model for the scent’s ad campaign.
Klein picked Christy Turlington, whom he feels has many different sides.
“Christy embodies most or all of the elements of Contradiction: she’s a celebrity, a student at New York University, and a businesswoman,” explained Paulanne Mancuso, president of Calvin Klein Cosmetics Co. “There’s a depth to her that we really wanted to capture.”
In the spare black and white campaign, shot by British photographer Craig McDean, Turlington emotes. By turns, she looks thoughtful, impertinent or incredulous. But mostly she looks happy.
“We wanted her to be having some fun,” noted Sheila Hewett, vice president of global marketing, advertising and communications at Klein Cosmetics, referring to Turlington’s big grin in many of the visuals.
“In the ads you see a confident, joyous woman who can be expressive about her emotions,” added Mancuso.
The TV ad also shows Turlington in a variety of poses. The spot is set to slow, atmospheric music by the band Tortoise, with a voiceover by Turlington. In the 15-second version, she says, “I’m just a simple complicated woman. I do what I want. I can’t do anything else. Contradiction. A new fragrance for a woman. From Calvin Klein.”
The campaign was created by Klein’s in-house agency, CRK, under creative director Ronnie Cooke Newhouse, who has since left the company.
The print and TV spots will break in mid-October, at the same time the fragrance arrives in a tight distribution of about 400 doors.
While Klein executives would not discuss dollars, industry sources indicate that the company will invest 100 percent of projected sales on advertising and promotions. According to sources, some $10 million has been earmarked through the end of the year to back the scent. Meanwhile, the company is reportedly targeting a wholesale volume of $10 million to $12 million for November and December.
However, because Contradiction is being rolled out in tiers with six-month exclusives given to key department stores in 15 U.S. markets (except for New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, which will be mixed markets), the company decided against a full-blown national TV campaign.
Instead, Klein is concentrating on co-op print and TV advertising and a schedule of special events in conjunction with retailers and Glamour magazine.
“The stores are very excited about a collection fragrance that’s exclusive,” observed Mancuso, referring to Klein’s return to masterbrand scents after two unisex launches, CK One and CK Be. “We’re setting the stage for a long-term success, and we intend to build the fragrance season after season.”
The co-op commercials will kick off in 13 major markets across the U.S. The 15- and 30-second spots will air during top-rated shows such as “Seinfeld,” “The Practice” and “PrimeTime Live.” TV expenditures will reportedly hit about $2.5 million for the first two months.
There will be an avalanche of scented strips — 25 million in all — attached to single page and foldout ads, most of which are co-op efforts. In addition, beauty advisers will hand out a million vial-on-card samples in stores, and retailers will fire off approximately eight million direct mail pieces.
Klein has also developed a schedule of special events in partnership with Glamour magazine and selected retailers. Glamour ran a promotional announcement in its October issue, inviting readers to submit an essay explaining how the contradictions in their lives have helped them achieve success.
Klein execs and their retail partners in Dallas, Washington, Boston, Chicago and Atlanta will choose several winners per geographic zone. The “local heroes” will then be honored at special receptions held at modern art galleries or museums, starting Oct. 16.
For example, in Washington, a party will be thrown at the Corcoran Gallery in conjunction with Hecht’s and Glamour. Guests will include Hecht’s best customers, civic leaders and key women in the capital. The winners will be presented with a personal letter from Calvin Klein and a silver frame.
Mancuso said a major event is being planned in conjunction with Bloomingdale’s in New York, but she insisted it was too early to reveal the details.
As for Europe, Contradiction rolls out to a full distribution next March and April, and the company will back the scent with a similar media and marketing war chest. The company will reportedly invest between $18 million and $20 million during the first six months.