Comment Calvin Klein’s Zeitgeist Casting
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Would you drink this brand’s bath water?
The revolutionary idea to brand underwear with your own name, sex it up with physically perfect models and offer it at inflated prices created, arguably, the most powerful brand in underwear. From its inception in the 1980’s, Calvin Klein Underwear, aesthetically, has always been based on the classicism of the ancient ideals of the male body; plus muscles and a few bulges.
The move into using male celebrities hit the perfect step in the 1990s with Marky Mark and has continued up until today with the new spring 2024 campaign with actor Jeremy Allen White. It has got social media all of a flutter.
The Bear actor is seen flaunting his physique while the constant is the tighty-whitey underwear. There’s nothing new to see. No innovation or design. It’s almost like they are really sexy promo shots for the actor and that’s really the point.
Over four decades, Calvin Klein continues to hit the zeitgeist with its underwear campaigns and it all comes down to casting; getting the right man with the banging body at the right time.
From Freddie Ljungberg, the Swedish footballer to the last one to hit, Moonlight actor Trevante Rhodes in 2017, these become cultural masculine moments and live rent free in people’s heads. It taps into something bigger like TV or film and harnesses the crushes people have or the desires to see more.
While the brand continues to produce campaigns all the time featuring some of the biggest celebrities, it requires an element of alchemy and everything to come together for it capture the wider public’s imagination and really connect.
The concept always remains the same and nobody wants that to change.