NEW YORK — There’s no question that Sept. 11 is cemented in history, but Kenneth Cole wants people to start remembering Sept. 12, as well.
That’s the day Kenneth Cole Productions has chosen as the focus of its new spring ad campaign, saying in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks here and in Washington, there was something tremendous to be learned.
“We need to move on and we focused on Sept. 12 because we felt there were a lot of wonderful things that happened on that day, about New York City, being American and how it changed us as human beings,” said Lori Wagner, senior vice president of marketing at KCP, which is known for its cause-related advertising. “There were some positive things that came out of this tragedy, and hopefully, we’re giving a positive, uplifting message to the consumer.”
The campaign, which will start appearing in February, features real-life situations of people shot in natural lighting in an open loft. Created by an in-house advertising team and photographed by James Waddel, the effect is soft and much warmer than previous campaigns, said Wagner, adding that her team didn’t feel that shots of cold, hard fashion would be appropriate at this time.
The tag lines are touching — such as: “On Sept. 12, people who don’t speak to their parents forgot why. Today is not a dress rehearsal” — as well as funny: “On Sept. 12, drivers waved at other drivers with all five fingers.” There is also an AIDS message, stating that 14,000 people contracted HIV on Sept. 12.
Wagner said she thinks the written messages are poignant enough, but not so specific as to sound preachy. “We tried to be sensitive to how everyone was feeling, while making sure we don’t offend….Some people were devastated by this in many different ways,” she said.
The ad campaign will launch with a 12-page insert representing the entire seven spreads in the New York Times next month, followed by the same inserts in major U.S. newspapers. Starting in March, the ads will appear in Vanity Fair, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, In Style and W. Outdoor placement will include billboards, phone kiosks and bus panels throughout the U.S.