I __influence__ in #mycalvins

When Calvin Klein launched their 2014 marketing campaign #mycalvins, their main focus was to reacher a younger demographic for their iconic labeled cotton underwear. How did they do this? By using big influencers, across a wide range of industries, as well as, reposting content from followers using the provided hashtag via the platform of Instagram.

What did they do?

Calvin Klein pretty much owes all of their success to their hashtag “#mycalvins“. It’s hard to measure the reaction that the world would have had if they did not base their entire campaign around the use of a “fill-in-the-blank” phrase to understand what exactly people do in their Calvins.

By using influencers, this brand was able to attain access to millions of followers through various social media platforms and gain the trust and awareness that comes with each post. Of course, there is strategy behind who a company chooses to, in a sense, to be the face of their brand. In other words, an influencer can really make or break a campaign.

Dan Shewan’s blog post The 8 Rules of Influencer Marketing: How to Find Influencers (& Become One Yourself)dives deeper into what it takes to be an influencer and the rules that companies should take under advisement when they are conducting their influencer search. Therefore, after reading his tips and tricks, it’s obvious that Calvin Klein’s marketing department spent days huddled around a conference table finding the perfect candidates for their campaign.

Kicking off the campaign

A majority of the population might have been somewhat annoyed when they saw another ad debut featuring Justin Bieber. However, as a marketer you’ve got to hand it to him in that he knows how to influence people. With a whopping 1.7 million likes and 200+ thousands comments (either good or bad), he really got the world talking with one simple post. Justin was chosen to be displayed in a variety of ads that Calvin Klein covered billboards, magazine pages, and posters with. They added their hashtag #mycalvins and their logo and called it a wrap.

Officially a part of the legacy. Check out @calvinklein for more. #mycalvins. #newfaceofcalvinklein @mertalas

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Moving Forward

Calvin Klein gained a vast amount of attention after the launch of their campaign, but what came next in terms of their marketing strategy would set record highs with number of likes, comments, and reposting.

This company encouraged celebrities to set the tone by filling in the blank of what they do in their Calvins and posting a corresponding image. They then encouraged the public to get involved and do the same. Pretty soon, Instagram was full of in-home selfies featuring your “average Jo” in their Calvin Klein products. This idea not only added allowed the celebrities to be seen in a relatable light, but it inspired a global phenomenon for everyone to get involved.

Below Kendall Jenner and Kendrick Lamar are seen in their Calvins:

💤 @calvinklein #ad

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

What does this mean?

It’s obvious that the influencers involved in this campaign had a huge impact on its success. However, at the end of the day consumers like to see other consumers using said products in order to create realness. This isn’t meant to undermine the effect that influencers can play, they certainly get the ball rolling for brand awareness, but it is ultimately up to the people to keep the momentum going.

Below are two accounts that have chosen to participate in the campaign as well:

Sundays in #mycalvins ✌🏼

A post shared by regan kenny (@reganekenny) on

What can you take away from this?

In sum, influencers are HUGE. They can generate product knowledge and awareness in seconds, if posted to the right audience. What we can learn from Calvin Klein is that picking exactly who to be our brand influencers is important. You want someone that represents the same persona and values that your campaign is trying to promote. Also you need to keep in mind that the number of followers, aka the number of people that will be exposed to the content that is posted, is vital as well. However, for smaller companies that may not be true depending on the variables.

Lastly, if you can create a marketing campaign that gets the influencer and influencee involved, you are golden, and this is just what the “I _____ in #mycalvins” set out to do.


Obviously, every marketing campaign is different and there are pros and cons to each. Feel free to leave us comments on your opinions towards Calvin Klein’s most recent movement.

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