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Selfie strip

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, a customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective campaigns and ideas

Show off your selfie (and your Calvins)

Fashion brand Calvin Klein is encouraging people to snap selfies of themselves in their Calvin underwear to share on Instagram using the #mycalvins hashtag.

The first wave of the #mycalvins movement invited models (Miranda Kerr) and musicians (Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie and R&B star Trey Songz) to snap themselves.

The second wave included influencers such as bloggers (Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine and The Blonde Salad’s Chiara Ferragni).

Calvin Klein claims that the first of the three influencer photos had more than 1 million total fan interactions among an audience of more than 50 million in less than 24 hours.

Digital agency Huge in Brooklyn, New York, was the agency behind the campaign. Megan Wintersteen, Huge’s lead for social, said: ‘Instead of asking the audience to follow the brand, they’re allowing the fans to create the #mycalvins movement, therefore making it feel more organic and less promotional… [this] is basically the world’s best excuse to pose half-naked on Instagram without seeming self-serving.’

Contagious Insight

There’s been an interesting trajectory in how fashion brands have democratised their content. Burberry’s Art of the Trench, from 2009, kicked off the trend for snapping real people wearing Burberry’s most iconic item. Here we are five years (and several discarded layers) later.

Calvin Klein and Huge are playing to the existing behaviour of the target group here, giving millennials a reason to engage with the brand (showing off how hot they think they are). Having said that, the concept taps into the core brand essence of Calvin Klein, echoing its most iconic era of advertising from the 90s when supermodel Kate Moss was the face of the brand.

It almost goes without saying that the Instagram gallery features images of fit and sexy people: the men sport six-packs and the women are slim and feminine. Long before American Apparel came along, Calvin Klein had the monopoly over the concept of achievable aspiration; far from the ‘aspirational’ nature of many luxury brands with their in-built element of fantasy, Calvin Klein has always been about effortless style, easy confidence and rumpled bedsheets in the background.

Brands are really starting to gear up on Instagram and understand its strengths as a platform. So far this year we’ve seen Dallas Pets Alive inserting pictures of rescued dogs into selfies posted on Instagram and IKEA inviting Norwegians to share their favourites on the photo-sharing site. And this week even the Muppets took to Instagram to share selfies of themselves. But for high-end brands, Instagram offers particular potential: L2, a US think tank, estimates that 92% of prestige brands have an Instagram account, 63% of prestige brands link to their Instagram account from their brand sites and 14% of prestige brands integrate user-generated content from Instagram on their brand site.

Finally, #MyCalvins launches at the same time as a new feature on the fashion site AsosAs Seen On Me invites people to show off their new Asos purchases on social platforms using the #asseenonme hashtag. We predict there’ll be a lot more brand-curated selfie-sharing before the year’s out…

My Calvins


This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact