Calvin Klein’s Jeremy Allen White ads turned heads, but the biggest impact may be to the brand’s image

July 1, 2024

Just days into the new year, Calvin Klein released its Spring 2024 men’s underwear collection with an ad campaign that inspired a string of admiring TikToks and think pieces, reports Fashion Dive.

The resulting surge in social media impressions was worth about $74 million, according to the brand’s holding company PVH.

The images featured actor Jeremy Allen White in his hometown of New York City, sporting classic Calvin Klein underwear styles, such as white cotton boxer briefs. Images included photos and a video of White exercising on a rooftop, scored by Lesley Gore’s song “You Don’t Own Me.”

White is the star of the buzzy FX on Hulu series “The Bear,” which debuted its third season on Wednesday, June 26. The actor and the series received honors at this year’s Golden Globes and Emmy Awards, which were both held shortly after the campaign launched.

White wore a black suit and sheer black shirt by Calvin Klein at the Golden Globes. White wore Calvin Klein again to the series’ season premiere in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 25, in an oyster white bespoke suit with a black tie.

Calvin Klein is a 56-year-old brand known for head-turning, and at times controversial, ads starring popular celebrities. However, the campaign starring White was unique in the amount of attention it drew.

Within the first 48 hours of its debut, the media campaign generated $10.4 million in media impact value, and generated $699,000 in MIV for the Calvin Klein brand itself, according to data from Launchmetrics. By PVH’s own metrics, the campaign generated $12 million in media exposure within the same time period.

By comparison, Calvin Klein campaigns starring Michael B. Jordan and Carlos Alcaraz netted $3.8 million and $827,000 in MIV, respectively, within 48 hours of their launches, per Launchmetrics.

The campaign debuted as PVH is in the midst of a multi-year plan to boost Calvin Klein’s desirability and consumer loyalty. In an April earnings call with analysts, CEO Stefan Larsson said the Calvin Klein brand was “driving some of the highest consumer engagement” in its history, “fueled by cut through campaigns with globally relevant mega-talent.” When asked by analysts about the overall health of the Calvin Klein brand, Larsson pointed to these campaigns.

“We saw the impact of this work earlier this year with the launch of our spring campaign featuring Jeremy Allen White, and we are excited to build on this strong momentum as Calvin’s global product engine takes hold,” Larsson said.

Research contact: @fashiondive