The emblematic fragrance of the 90s, the unisex CK One by Calvin Klein is relaunching with a new television and print ad campaign (shot by the legendary Steven Meisel), a beautiful song written by British musician and model Jamie Burke and a special, limited edition fragrance bottle packaged with an mP3 speaker.
The idea behind relaunch of the CK One fragrance is about bringing people together, regardless of their differences in age, culture, race or gender. It's about coming together, through the common and universal language of music.
From WWD by Julie Naughton (issue 01/09/2009):
"Calvin Klein plans to bring new attention to its CK One franchise with a new TV campaign to be launched Jan. 20. [...]"The CK One ‘We are one’ campaign is inspired by a social movement of people coming together in the spirit of unity,” said Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American fragrances for Coty Prestige, noting the campaign’s centerpiece is a song commissioned from British musician Jamie Burke — who appears in the print and TV ads for this campaign, as well as two Calvin Klein Jeans spots. “There is such a natural synergy between the message of the campaign and the essence of our new president’s platform that it seemed the ideal moment to share the TV spot. The campaign — and its original song — give voice to an optimistic new generation, that certainly made its voice heard in the latest election. This is a celebration of the power of coming together as one.” Charlotta Perlangeli, vice president of global marketing for Calvin Klein Fragrances, added that the song will be available as a free iTunes download and on Ckone.com. “We believe it will help consumers relate more personally to the campaign,” she said. A print ad, featuring Burke with models of all shapes, sizes and skin tones, will begin running in February fashion, beauty, lifestyle and music magazines in the U.S. The campaign will also be online at CKone.com. Both campaigns were created with Laird and Partners; Francis Lawrence filmed the TV spot, which includes 30- and 60-second cuts. Steven Meisel shot the print ad.
Coty is reinforcing the music ties with a limited edition version of CK One. The bottle, which is emblazoned with the words “We are one” in a number of languages, is set into a base which includes a removable MP3 speaker. In addition, Coty will launch an all-over body spray in the CK One franchise. It is intended to be a lighter version of the CK One scent and is dispensed with an oversize pump, said Walsh. It will retail for $26. While Walsh wouldn’t discuss projected spending or sales figures, industry sources estimated the total media spend globally could top $25 million. Sources also estimated that the two limited edition products and the campaign’s effects could add $30 million to the franchise’s bottom line in the next year. More than 90 million scented impressions are planned globally".
Not coincidentally this relaunch coincides with the optimistic, all-inclusive spirit that has been instilled at the inaugauration of the new US president Barack Obama and his speech. The time is therefore prime for anthropological marketing that takes into consideration the very sensitive sensibilities of a culture founded on the principles of inclusion of all races, all religions and all sexual preferences. Unfortunately for many, the "One Drop Rule" seems to have been a custom in the United States for a long time, ie. "a historical colloquial term in the United States that holds that a person with any trace of African ancestry is considered black unless having an alternative non-white ancestry which he or she can claim, such as Native American, Asian, Arab, or Australian aboriginal. It developed most strongly out of the binary culture of long years of institutionalized slavery.[...]The one-drop rule was a tactic in the U.S. South that codified and strengthened segregation and the disfranchisement of most blacks and many poor whites from 1890-1910[..]Legislatures sought to prevent interracial relationships to keep the white race "pure", long after slaveholders and overseers took advantage of enslaved women and produced the many mixed-race children". (The following article is interesting to peruse).
In the historic times we're living, when the president himself is of black ancestry, it makes sense that such customs are better being left behind. Although it is no doubt of great importance to honour one's roots, an individual's human right is to feel however he/she wants to feel about them and not being dictated on how to, the right of self-definition becoming of paramount gravity; choosing to wear a label by ones'self or not choosing to. Subtler and more voluntary than hereditary traits such as religious choices should follow, naturally. And as to whether someone self-defines in the issue of gender, this is something that although still quite controversial is curiously often regarded with more lenience than religious or racial differences, perhaps due to the comparatively much smaller scale of those deviating from what is considered "average". Still, in a time when a transexual man gives birth to a baby, everything seems possible!
So even such a small thing as an advertising campaign that encompasses people of mixed races is a good thing! Nevertheless, I am looking forward to Coty Prestige choosing to show people of all ages in their advertisements, as the concept, placement and execution of the relaunch is clearly geared towards quite young people. As to the tyranny of beauty in advertisng (all the faces and bodies I see on the current advertisements are simply gorgeous) this is a general phenomenon in the market for fragrances and cosmetics. Due to my classical education and ancestry I personally embrace beauty for the ethical value that it definitely is in my own mind; yet I wouldn't be happy considering less than beautiful people excluded from such a thing as an all-encompassing campaign. Food for thought, dear advertisers!
The limited edition of CKone packaged with an mP3 speaker is available at Macy's retailing for for 50$US.
News & pics via press release, commentary my own.