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Spring 2000: Calvin Klein, 'Micro-Site' Yields Instant Brand Awareness

Calvin Klein - a world-renowned name in fashion. MTV -- a music television industry pioneer. Put these two widely recognized New York-based fashion and music companies together on the Internet and you have all the elements of an effective brand awareness campaign.

The two industry titans recently joined forces to create a 'micro-site' (a mini-Web site located within a Web site) that not only showcases various artists, but also promotes Calvin Klein's Spring 2000 jeans advertising campaign.

Calvin Klein, rather surprisingly, doesn't have its own Web site. So the company teamed up with MTVi Group, a unit of MTV Networks (which is owned by Viacom Inc.), to launch the micro-site ( on MTV's Web site ( The micro-site debuted February 1 and ran through April 15. MTVi Group provided the music content; Calvin Klein the ad campaign copy.

"The campaign was about creating the next level of awareness and the ckjnetwork on is part of that step," says company co-founder Calvin Klein. "The new focus is on what's sexy about individual style. That's where we're headed with our design; and we're collaborating with a new group of artists interested in experiment and risk—real individuals who are challenging what's next."

The ad campaign focused on musicians—some who have their mark worldwide and some who are on their way there. The micro-site featured Macy Gray, David Silveria of Korn, Ja Rule, DJ Rap, Delores O'Riordan of the Cranberries, Shakira, Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes, Joshua Todd of Buckcherry, Moby, and Tim Wheeler and Charlotte Hatherley of Ash. Photographer Steven Klein shot the still photos used on the micro-site.

On the site, each artist's section contained areas entitled Audio, Video and Extras. Click on Audio and you could hear CD tracks from selected albums and an approximate three-minute interview of the artist. Video offered streaming video clips. Extras provided an extensive biography of each artist, a screensaver available in either a PC or Mac format, different size wallpapers for the computer, and a Send Postcard button, enabling viewers to email snapshots of each of the artists to their friends and colleagues.

According to Allan Infeld, vice president of advertising sales for MTVi Group, the 'groundbreaking' micro-site was 'unique' to the fashion and music industry.

"As far as we have determined, it's an industry first. Both of our companies had similar goals and objectives—to target an Internet-savvy audience," Infeld says. "We designed the micro-site so it was pliable and easy to use, yet the design was striking and the content thorough and informative."

Infeld declines to release any statistical data, but says the micro-site exceeded both MTVi Group's and Calvin Klein's expectations. "Clickthrough rates were well above the industry norm," he says. "We were able to drive substantial and repeat traffic to the micro-site by instituting co-branded banners through the MTV site."

"We're seeing more and more companies utilizing the micro-site concept," says Peter Meade, managing partner, TeleResearch, Inc. "They don't cost as much to develop as a full-blown Web site and offer a lot of interactive co-branding elements that are attractive to both consumers and the respective companies using them."

Infeld says these included banner ads on AMP (geared towards electronic music), Yo (rap music), MTV Jams (rhythm and blues), 120 Minutes (emerging artists) and Buzzworthy (cutting-edge music). He adds that Max Racks postcards also supported the micro-site and in Calvin Klein's Spring 2000 print ads.

MTVi Group plans to develop additional micro-sites in the near future and is talking to a number of advertisers. "It's a highly effective way to promote brand awareness and simultaneously provide useful and entertaining information to viewers," says Infeld.

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