Social Media

After dropping runway fashion, Calvin Klein turns to TikTok for digital marketing

Calvin Klein’s underwear campaign featuring Kendall Jenner

After dropping runway fashion, Calvin Klein turns to TikTok app thus, abandoning the runway in favor of a more youthful platform. TikTok is a social media app for creating and sharing short videos. The application allows users to create short videos of 15 seconds. In July 2018, the app had more than 500 million users globally, which is probably why the brand chose this platform for their next campaign.

After the departure of Creative Director Raf Simons, the brand announced that it will be shuttering the whole runway line Simons was in charge of.  This might lead to cutting off a significant number of employees and a possible closing of the Milan office. The brand has struggled in terms of sales, as well, with revenue falling from $142 million in the third quarter of 2017 to $121 million in the same period in 2018. 

But as the brand moves on, Calvin Klein is introducing its new spring campaign, marking the biggest shift so far into its ‘digital-first’ brand marketing strategy. The brand describes the campaign, themed #mycalvins, as a coming-of-age concept. The first video stars singer Shawn Mendes, actor Noah Centineo, model Kendall Jenner and musician A$AP Rocky, promoting both clothes and underwear.

No wonder, the #MyCalvins TikTok campaign has become CK’s most viewed digital campaign within 24 hours of the launch. It has received more than 10 times the engagement of the campaign it ran with Justin Bieber in the spring of 2015.

The campaign has been shot in a suburban, casual setting in contrast to their usual picturesque setting, to be able to connect with their younger audience. The video is set to the track “True Faith”, and was shot by British fashion photographer Glen Luchford, and plans call for new content to appear throughout the season.

This will be a digital-first brand, coming after the company’s announcement to move out of Print. The brand has prioritized the mobile and digital experience with more emphasis on video. It is also looking for marketing with impactful storytelling and product conversations. The video is running on paid media channels, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and also making a debut on TikTok. By launching on the TikTok platform, the brand can engage with a younger audience through exclusive videos and native hashtag challenges, creating compelling brand interactions and encouraging user-generated content.

CEO Steve Shiffman was quoted saying:
“Our industry is witnessing a historic transformation in consumer behavior which presents a significant growth opportunity… Now more than ever, we must double down on meeting consumer demands by creating culturally relevant products and experiences that engage communities by pushing fashion and culture forward.

Social media has become a game changer in the fashion industry and many brands are already modifying their social media marketing strategies to make the most of it. With Calvin Klein being the first one to opt for this strategy, we will see many brands doing something similar.


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