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Calvin Klein's Iconic Celebrity PR Ad Campaign and Celebrity Network

Stacy Jones
Stacy Jones
January 26, 2015 at 10:00 AM

2 minute read

Calvin Klein Have Created a Celebrity Network With Their Iconic Ad Campaign

There’s no denying the triumph of the iconic Calvin Klein Underwear advertising campaign. The brand’s long-running success with the campaign has seen the brand push the boundaries to create controversial – albeit eye popping – content that grabs attention and generates both consumer and media conversation.

In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses how Calvin Klein created its own celebrity network through their iconic PR ad campaign using Marky Mark and Justin Bieber.


Though controversial in their nature, the famous CK Underwear celebrity PR ads have launched careers of stars such as Mark Wahlberg, and Kate Moss’ international career, and unintentionally created a celebrity network that is known for their association with the brand.

The Underwear ads have not only helped launch such careers, but have also helped save the company from bankruptcy in the 90s. Thus, it’s no surprise that the CK underwear brand’s most recent campaign has caused a stir in Hollywood with the debut of its most recent face, Justin Bieber.

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Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is no stranger to the limelight. The star broke out onto the music scene at the tender age of 14. With his raw talent and killer looks, the sky was the limit for the young protégé. The only thing to thwart Bieber’s growing success has been the star himself. Both in and out of the spotlight, Bieber began to behave in a questionable manner by canceling tour dates; publicly using narcotics; lewd behavior with professional dancers and models, and a DUI arrest. Bieber’s once loyal fan base cracked and crumbled fast, moving on to bands with a slightly squeakier clean image, or those that acted more like adults.

CK’s most recent partnership with Bieber has not necessarily done many favors for the star, which begs the question: Was it a wise choice for CK to partner up with Justin Bieber for their latest underwear ad campaign? Since its release, the ad has been scrutinized by many and parodied by the likes of stars such as Ellen DeGeneres. Many news outlets have speculated the use of Photoshop to make Bieber appear more bulked out, ahem in all the right places, and toned. Many have mocked the ads and the choice to use Bieber.

Despite all the negative talk, one thing has remained constant – Calvin Klein’s logo, brand name, clothing and signature black and white artwork is once again the center of media attention. Though it is often said that not all press is good press, CK seemingly continues to still come out on top, thriving off the controversy and talk generated from their ad campaigns. 

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Topics: Celebrity Partnership, Strategic Partnerships, Public Relations, Case Study

Stacy Jones

Written by Stacy Jones

Stacy Jones, Hollywood Branded's founder and CEO, has over twenty six years of leadership experience building global entertainment branding campaigns for top Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of brands. Her career started after receiving her BFA in Theater Production & Scenic Design from the University of Arizona. Acknowledged as an expert in the field, she has appeared on CNN and MSNBC; spoken at conferences around the globe from Germany to Beijing; and has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Financial Times, The Economist, Brandweek, Advertising Age, Variety, B&C and Mediaweek amongst others. Originally from Texas, you will still hear her ya’ll as she gathers the team for strategy planning sessions. Like all true entrepreneurs, Stacy is an adventurer at her core – having sky dived, hang glided off bi-planes, swam with crocs while rafting the Zambezi in Africa, photographed grizzly bears in Alaska, trekked Mayan ruins in Belize, explored the ocean as an avid scuba diver, and who loves owning an advertising agency where she swims with a different type of Hollywood shark on a daily basis.


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