The CKone Email Ad Campaign

from the AI-before-AI dept

Remember all the hype about the web game for the movie AI, which actually had almost nothing to do with the movie? It seems that they weren’t the first to have an online “advertising” offshoot that sucked in people, but had little to do with the product they were advertising. Three years ago Calvin Klein started an ad campaign for cKone that included email address next to pictures of models. Not surprisingly, people started emailing them. CK had some writers come up with emails back to those who wrote in. But instead of responding like fan mail, they responded as if they were close personal friends, revealing secrets, telling stories, and generally revealing bits and pieces of their soap opera-like lives (but never pitching the product). Apparently, this went on for 3 years, long after the actual ad campaign died, as people started following the fictional lives of these Calvin Klein models. I actually think that it’s a very interesting way to tell a story. Way back when, when people kept talking about how we needed better content on the web, there was a ton of hype around an “online soap opera” called “The Spot”. It failed miserably – because the medium wasn’t right. But, here comes an email ad campaign that found the perfect medium and method for creating an online soap opera.

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