Is influence more valuable than reputation? For Calvin Klein, the answer would appear to be “yes.”
We didn’t realize that CK was looking to increase its exposure among the 15-and-under demographic, but the company did recently attempt to encroach upon Dove’s “Real Beauty” audience with mixed results.
Just as Calvin never actually called model Myla Dalbesio “plus-sized,” so they never claimed that hiring Justin Bieber was an attempt to appeal to those with more discerning tastes. In the words of Jezebel’s Clover Hope, he’s “the man-child we love to hate.”
As you can tell from this Adweek piece and the related BuzzFeed quiz, the new campaign has earned the company a good bit of attention. Bieber himself reminded us last night that young, shirtless, unproven celebrities are nothing new for Calvin Klein:
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 7, 2015
Some have compared the Bieber pics to this ad for Celine featuring Joan Didion, which premiered in Vogue yesterday:
The difference: Celine is a classic French high fashion house, while Calvin Klein gained notoriety for semi-erotic, borderline-inappropriate ads in the 80s and 90s.
Once people get over their Bieber outrage, they will realize that the brand and the “influencer” are a perfect match.