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Calvin Klein Recruits Kardashian Klan: Marketing Masterstroke or Mistake?

Over the past 10 years, it’s been hard to avoid the ubiquitous Kardashian klan. And considering the family recently signed a US$150 million deal for another five seasons of their reality show, prepare to be seeing even more of the ever-expanding family … especially if you’re in the market for some new underwear.

This week, Calvin Klein released their latest installment of the #MyCalvins series.

#MyCalvins initially began as a social media campaign in 2014 and has since racked up over half a million posts using the hashtag. But what makes this ad unique is its focus on family. And what other family is more famous than the Kardashians?

Arguably, the Trumps could challenge the Kardashians in the fame stakes … but the thought of Donald Trump reclining on a picnic rug in a barn, flaunting his #MyCalvins is beyond distressing … even for the most ardent Republicans.

One of the key reasons Calvin Klein would have decided to cast the Kardashians in this campaign, is because their sheer existence generates enormous amounts of publicity. With incessant pregnancy rumours surrounding Kylie Jenner, the media buzz has heightened, with critics questioning why Kylie’s lips look smaller and why her stomach is covered in every picture.

Some have even made accusations against the fashion brand, ranging from complaints of unnecessary photo-shopping, to the suggestion that Kim and Kylie are represented by body doubles.

So, in terms of publicity, this campaign has already been incredibly effective. But what about the quality of the ad itself?

The impeccably manicured sisters are filmed lying on the floor, playing a game of ‘Never Have I Ever’. The conversation really is nauseating, but if you’ve seen an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, bland conversations seem to have worked for them, so far.

And maybe that’s the genius of it. While the conversation isn’t all that interesting, lounging around playing silly games with your siblings is relatable for a lot of people, and the bond between the sisters has been a big part of their success.

The variation in body shapes between the sisters is also what many of their fans find relatable. While the shape and tone of their bodies is unattainable for many, their curves mark a distinct shift away from the models employed by Victoria Secret, who just happen to have lost market share to Calvin Klein. In fact, Business Insider claims that “Calvin Klein just overtook Victoria’s Secret as the coolest lingerie brand”.

While ‘cool’ is important, sales are king, and the two together makes it looks like Calvin Klein are onto a winner.

So for these reasons, this week, it’s a Marketing Masterstroke.

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Written By: Rob