Cotton Incorporated is charged with promoting cotton to consumers. It does this through a wide variety of tactics, the most well known of which is advertising.
The advertising climate in today’s world is changing and challenging. Companies must be able to find cost-effective programming (TV, digital, etc.) that can reach a large percentage of the target audience at a time when consumer-viewing habits are changing rapidly. They also have to develop an impactful message over a wide array of media platforms.
At the Cotton Board’s March Board of Directors meeting, guest speaker Wendy Clark, CEO of DDB North America (Cotton Incorporated’s advertising agency), said it best, “In the cluttered marketplace, advertising is the uninvited guest. And because of that, we need to do more and mean more in today’s world by telling better stories and being more insightful.”
With that advice in mind and creative agency DDB New York at the helm, Cotton Incorporated’s Consumer Marketing Division has announced the launch of a new consumer-directed advertising campaign: “Leave Comfort to Clothes.”
Rethink Perception Of Comfort
The Leave Comfort to Clothes campaign leverages consumers’ strong connection between cotton and comfort and inspires them to rethink the way they view comfort. It’s about taking an ingredient and making it matter so consumers will look for and buy more cotton.
“We’re living in uncomfortable times and if any brand can make being uncomfortable more comfortable — it’s cotton,” says Jill Orsini, Cotton Incorporated’s director of advertising.
“The comfort doesn’t come from the softness of cotton but from the strength the consumer exudes. This comfort is courage, which goes beyond the physical; it is inner strength. When people feel comfortable, they’re better — more confident, more productive, happier, and more likely to express how they feel. This campaign is challenging people to be fearless in their thoughts and actions and to get out of their comfort zones,” Orsini says.
Cotton Incorporated’s Lifestyle Monitor customer survey identified the emotional connection with cotton. The 2016 survey revealed that almost nine in 10 consumers say cotton clothing is the most comfortable compared to clothing made from synthetic fibers.
The campaign, targeted to reach women and men age 18-49, consists of three 15-second commercials. The first started airing in April and is featured on networks such as ABC, FOX and the CW.
“Shorter, 15-second commercials for a campaign launch year are a departure for us,” says Orsini, who notes Cotton Incorporated’s history of 60- and 30-second spots. Our research indicates that consumers want short, engaging storytelling.”
Digital Programs, Social Media
In addition to television, Cotton Incorporated uses digital programs and social media to extend the campaign message. The goal is to educate the consumer about cotton’s benefit and encourage them to check the label and shop for cotton. A mix of video and display banner ads will be hosted on websites, such as People, Refinery29, UrbanDaddy, Women’s Health and Men’s Health and direct customers to shop cotton-rich products. Social media will continue to connect with consumers one on one and feature sharable cotton content.
“All components of the campaign communicate a clear message to consumers: Leave comfort to clothes, where the softness, durability, ease of care and versatility of cotton go with them no matter where they go or what they do,” Orsini says.
To view the new commercials, please visit: www.youtube.com/CottonFabricOfMyLife.
The Cotton Board, which administers Cotton Incorporated’s Research and Promotion Program, contributed information for this article.