Justin Bieber’s Midas touch may have failed him in recent times, but for Calvin Klein — it’s in full, glorious effect.
According to WWD, the lifestyle brand has added 3.6 million followers across its social media channels since Biebs was unveiled as the face and body of its spring underwear and jeans campaign two weeks ago.
Moreover, the hashtag #mycalvins generated 1.6 million Twitter mentions in the first 48 hours, after the black and white images first sucked the oxygen out of the Internet when they debuted on January 6. In real terms, that is five times the number of mentions Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine cover shoot pulled in with the #breaktheinternet hashtag.
The Bieber-CK campaign also topped Ad Age’s Viral Video Chart in the first week after launching.
So, in this case Bieber bulge beats big, greasy booty. And no one can be more pleased than Calvin Klein.
Melisa Goldie, chief marketing officer for the brand tells Style.com.
“We were hoping to be top of mind and incite a dialogue with the public, and that’s exactly what happened. We live in a world where consumer consumption is truly digital first.”
She explains, “Justin was essentially born on the Internet; he was discovered on YouTube and is one of the most followed people on several platforms.” She added: “We knew that we would increase engagement with a younger audience by featuring a talent like him — which is key to our brand and always has been.”
Notably, those statistics rolled in before the alleged Photoshopping claims that have now beset the Bieber-Calvin Klein campaign, which also features model Lara Stone.
Some words on that:
It cannot be denied that Bieber is muscular, as he should be after three years of training.
His Instagram reveals this, as do live appearances. The singer’s social media also reveals he has what is commonly known as a “Happy Trail.” Given that his pelvic hair seems to be darker and thicker in the print ads than the videos, that may be down to airbrushing, which is a standard in the industry.
The site also admitted the image was Photoshopped and apologized, after Bieber’s legal team threatened a defamation lawsuit.
A ripped Bieber in one of his own Instagram posts from last year, and with evident “happy trail” below.
Need more convincing?
Take a look at this paparazzi-obtained pic, albeit not high resolution, taken at Bieber’s Los Angeles home on Sunday.
And, yes, you are bulge-watching at this precise moment in time.
But back to Bieber’s controversy-ridden Calvin Klein campaign, and how he boosted the brand’s social media penetration.
After the campaign’s launch, staggered roll-outs of images, videos, and billboards in New York City and Los Angeles kept interest sky high. The singer’s Belieber army helped. So did the Photoshopping allegations, as millions pored over the campaign.
For their part, Bieber and Calvin Klein have consistently denied all Photoshopping claims.
Last week, the singer posted a shirtless Instagram selfie of himself wearing a towel which bunched around his bulge. He captioned it, “Photoshop, Lol.”
In short: Despite funny recent pop culture events such as Saturday Night Live’s parody of the CK campaign, there comes a point when people — media in particular — needs to ask itself whether the evident desire to believe the Photoshopping allegations is simply a result of anti-Bieber prejudice?
In any event, as Complex reported, the “subsequent success story” of the Bieber factor led to “more than 72 million social media followers receiving campaign-related posts published by Calvin Klein, Bieber, and others involved in the campaign — resulting in 25.5 million fan interactions.”
Yes. Justin Bieber is pop culture relevant. With a capital “R.”
[Images via XPOSURE/Calvin Klein]