by Barb on August 18, 2011
It’s been said that some attention is better than none, and that seems to be what Kenneth Cole’s staff adhere to when deciding the artistic direction for their advertising, especially with this latest campaign. The brand launches a new website asking for opinions on abortion, gun rights, and same-sex marriage with an added “twist.” The new site — wheredoyoustand.com — is divided into two sections. “What You Stand In” features advice on men’s and women’s clothing. “What You Stand For,” meanwhile, asks consumers to post their thoughts about the aforementioned topics, and posts links to relevant Twitter feeds under the heading “Feeding the Debate.”
In any case, this isn’t the brand’s first time at finding themselves under a lot of heat. On the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Kenneth Cole was quoted as saying “important moments like this are time to reflect. To remind us, sometimes, that it’s not only important what you wear, but it’s also important to be aware” to the New York Daily News. And earlier this year, there was the #Cairo tweet that made reference to the situation on-hand and their new collection available online. With that said, at this point, it can no longer be noted as ignorance with which the brand is faced. Rather, the brand just blatantly disregards the importance and high emotions encircling these issues.
The concept of the double entendre on its own is a clever one, but we have to be careful in picking and choosing with what we want to associate our message. Sure the hot button topics are bound to receive a lot more attention, but it may very well be negative, which isn’t what you should be aiming for at the end of the day. There is fun to be had in double entendres, but in more lighthearted subjects – ones that induce emotions of awe-inspiring or amusement. Granted, people will share your campaign (as this 2010 UPenn study will illustrate if you have the patience to sift through 30+ pages), but will it really generate sales? Probably not. And no, publicity doesn’t bring in the cash.
And if the brand really is intending to spark actual conversation as they attempt on their Facebook page, the advertisements are just so tasteless (or “edgy” if you prefer), and disengage the audience from taking the brand seriously as a conversationalist.
Image courtesy of wheredoyoustand.com