Calvin Klein's social media strategy reminds of its classic ad campaigns

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 9:45am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 9:45am

Getting PR to go viral on social media is the dream of most brands, and fashion companies are no exception.

Calvin Klein Underwear has always maintained a forward-thinking digital presence, and this season its multiplatform "show yours #mycalvins" campaign is gaining viral traction on Instagram (which is replacing the fashion street-style blog in terms of relevance), Twitter and Facebook.

The label has tapped a cool set of 100 young, international trendsetters from 15 countries to be part of the social media campaign. The aim? "To curate the conversation via personal and provocative social media posts" - with each person posting pictures of themselves in Calvin Klein Underwear, the sporty, logo-bearing waistband kind popularised by the brand back in the 1990s.

There are the professionals like CK poster girl Lara Stone, CK poster boy Matthew Terry and model Miranda Kerr, and several actors, socialites and musicians among them.

Love it or hate it, Instagram selfies are a pop culture phenomenon

But more interesting are the bevy of international self-made style bloggers, who have become Instagram celebrities and major street style influencers.

We are talking about New York's Leandra Medine aka Man Repeller, Milan's Chiara Ferragni aka The Blonde Salad, and young Sydney-based Margaret Zhang. Each has a legion of mostly young followers, a rather distinctive style and an enviable presence online.

As evidence of the traction they are getting, the label announced that "in less than 24 hours since the first of the three influencer photos were posted, there have been over one million total fan interactions among an audience of over 50 million".

Musician Trey Songz - who has 26 million followers across his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts - generated 830,000 fan interactions (likes, comments and so on) with just two posts. Model mother Miranda Kerr's intimate photo garnered more than 300,000 reactions.

Trust Calvin Klein, with all its iconic campaigns in the 1990s (remember 15-year-old Brooke Shields and an androgynous Kate Moss?), to tap into the newest big thing in fashion imagery - the "selfie".

Love it or hate it, Instagram selfies are a pop culture phenomenon - and one that has spawned plenty of social media celebrities. Whether this all transfers to actual sales for labels is debatable, especially when it comes to the partnerships bloggers have with the more expensive luxury labels.

But Calvin Klein Underwear has got the branding right, and is at the price point where the campaign could make huge financial inroads for the label.

You can be sure other brands in similar market segments are taking notes.