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Calvin Klein Underwear models: Do we really want them to talk?

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The images of Calvin Klein Underwear’s new X collection have begun to surface. Here, we see Twilight’s Kellan Lutz and True Blood‘s Mehcad Brooks, now of ABC’s The Deep End. In this campaign, the gentlemen are joined by Spanish tennis star Fernando Verdasco and Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata. According to Women’s Wear Daily, Calvin Klein Underwear will spend nearly one-fifth of its X marketing money on digital platforms, like Facebook, going as far as to set up a website — Xmarkyourspot.com, which isn’t live yet — to feature behind-the-scenes videos of the models. There will also be broadcast and taxi TV spots, in addition to print and outdoor ads. “The four different guys give us different ways to express things,” Bob Mazzoli, chief creative officer for Calvin Klein Underwear, has said. “They have different personalities, and that helps in our dialogue with our consumers.” According to WWD, some of the footage of the models includes profanity, which has been “bleeped out by sound and by an X that appears over the mouth.”

Do we actually need to hear these guys speak? I’d argue an underwear campaign works best when the still shot says it all. To me, Lutz’s says, “I may be the No. 3 guy in the Twilight franchise, but I’m No. 1 here, baby.” Brooks’ says, “You hated Eggs, but you could never hate these abs. Go ahead. Touch ’em.” If an interactive element is needed, my colleague Michael Slezak would suggest Calvin Klein take a cue from Adidas and adapt its Jersey Swap.* Click on that link and you’ll be asked to choose two of its five models to watch exchange shirts. Note, Calvin Klein, that the models only mime saying hello as they take off the jersey they’re wearing and hand it to their pal. Also note the use of slo-mo replay.

* Of course, Calvin Klein Underwear models don’t wear shirts… so maybe they could swap boxer briefs. You could X out the nakedness, and like the Adidas boys, they would just throw the briefs over their shoulders.

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