Calvin Klein's Scandalous Advertising - Morality vs Money

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG084
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1974-2003
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Calvin Klein
Industry : Fashion
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Jeans Business and More

Calvin Klein jeans were launched first in 1976. However, contrary to popular belief, they were not a runaway success; the in-house manufactured and designed jeans range was in fact a dismal failure. Soon after, the company licensed a fashion company Puritan Fashions (Puritan) to sell jeans under the Calvin Klein label...

Controversial Advertisements - The Growth Mantra

While Klein's designs were quite subtle, his rebel streak found an outlet in the way he promoted them.

He realized he could make quick money faster by sensationalizing things, at a fashion show in 1974.

While presenting Klein's collection, the models shocked the audience by exposing a lot of skin. Klein was apparently very pleased with the response this tactic generated...

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

Klein - The Sensationlism Trendsetter

Traditionally, the fashion industry (and the business world in general) had often used the female form in provocative ways. Calvin Klein redefined the rules of the game by using the male form unlike ever before. For the men's underwear range, it released advertisements featuring former Olympic pole vaulter Tom Hintinaus wearing nothing but the product...

Calvin Klein Gets Bolder and Bolder

The arrival of Kate Moss, rap music celebrity Marky Mark (known for dropping his trousers on-stage) and model Antonio Sabato Jr. in the Calvin Klein fold ushered in a new era for the company's erotic advertisements.

Advertisements featuring Kate Moss and Mark (both near-naked) for Calvin Klein underwear and jeans were instant hits with youngsters across the US. The commercials for Obsession featuring the nude Kate Moss were also lapped up by the customers.

The company even showed frontal nudity in some of these advertisements. However, these did not incite any major controversies - it seemed as if the fashion world was by now 'used to' Calvin Klein's shock tactics. A spate of positive developments followed. In the early 1990s, Klein launched a range of affordable and 'hip' clothes for youngsters...

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