brand extensions

4 Ways Calvin Klein Can Take Its New Underwear Campaign to the Extreme

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Consumer marketing experts will tell you that it’s the women of the household who buy their male partner’s underwear. This is why BVD and Fruit of the Loom promote their wares in female-focused ways. But the fashion label Calvin Klein has always been known for its homoerotic underwear advertising, a movement that gained traction with Mark Wahlberg grabbing his junk in a celebrated black-and-white campaign. It could be argued that showcasing Marky Mark in a pair of boxer briefs was, actually, a way to drive female consumers to purchase the underwear for their boyfriends and husbands, because ooooh, he’s so dreamy. But the brand’s latest campaign, featuring Twilight‘s Kellan Lutz, True Blood‘s Mehcad Brooks, Japanese soccer’s Hidetoshi Nakata, and Spanish tennis star Fernando Verdasco is arguably the most homoerotic yet. And it’s aim at gay men was made clear with its “You Want to See My Dick?” clip. And now it’s time to take things one step further.

Fine. You could argue that Kellan and Mehcad were talking to straight women when asking that question. And you could argue that we’re just naive hopeful pervs who always think cute guys are talking to us. But Calvin Klein isn’t stupid; they know zooming in on Lycra-clad bulges and asking if we want to take a gander at hot actors and sports stars’ manhood will get The Gays interested.

But CK needn’t stop there. There’s a way to make this ad campaign the gayest ever. And in return, get us to buy their signature briefs in droves.

Offer personal underwear fitting sessions with these gentlemen. How hard is it to buy men’s underwear? Not very. They come in a handful of sizes and styles, and most of us know whether our waist calls for small or large. But knowing Mr. Lutz is outside our dressing room, ready to examine how well the fabric lifts and enhances? We’ll head to the flagship right now.

Market an exclusive, limited-edition autographed variety. Getting a celebrity to sign your tits has no real value, unless you plan to never bathe again. But getting these gents to sign 500 pairs of white Calvins and sell them off for $500 each? It’ll force us to buy the limited-edition pair (and encase it in glass) as well as a regular tri-pack for actual use.

Put the photo shoot on DVD. We’ve already seen some behind-the scenes shots from the new campaign, and the “You Want to See My Dick?” video is, arguably, the type of new media extra that CK was wise to release. But we know you’ve got the hours-long shoot on video somewhere, and there’s no reason to keep it for yourself. Slap a $50 price tag on it, and stock it on stores or on the web. Or give it away with the purchase of every new Calvin Klein suit. If it can work for a rugby calendar, it can work for a multimillion dollar brand. And we promise we won’t even pirate the thing and share it on BitTorrent. Well, we’ll try.

Sell the underwear Kellan, Mechad, Hidetoshi, and Fernando wore during the shoot. This might be illegal in some states, and we’re pretty sure even eBay frowns on this, but some dudes just go for used underwear. (Other dudes go for soiled underwear, which is a different fetish.) But if you give us a chance to buy the same drawers that encased the packages of these ridiculously handsome men, we’ll bite.

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