Inspiration

Calvin Klein taps Spotify to amplify Gen Z’s positive outlook

As we kick off 2021 after a turbulent 2020, our global culture is fueled by a desire for change — driven by newfound engagement, awareness, and activism. As our latest Culture Next report reveals, the brands poised to succeed with Gen Zs are the ones who reflect this generation’s outlook.

With their one future, #ckone campaign, Calvin Klein is doing just that. In November, they partnered with Spotify to promote positivity and foster a worldwide community — with a global campaign across the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Germany & Netherlands.

“Like fashion, music is highly reflective of what is happening in culture at any given moment — and it also leads and shapes it,” said Cedric Murac, Executive Vice President, Global Creative, Calvin Klein. “Through audio, we were able to directly tie our brand campaign to the songs and artists that inspire our audience and establish a new kind of connection.”

By teaming up with Spotify, Calvin Klein was able to bring their message — championing a wide range of young perspectives across America — to our highly engaged Gen Z audience. And with digital audio ads, the powerful voices of the campaign could be heard loud and clear. “Something I would like to change in the world would be perspective — and more empathy, and love, and caring,” says Toni, 20, from Long Beach, in one spot. In another, Jace, 21, from Crowheart, says: “Everyone’s story is different than yours.”

“I just dream of a future that’s all-inclusive,” says Lex, 22, from El Paso, in her answer which also details her vision for that inclusive future: “Where people can lend a helping hand, and not be judgmental towards people who are of color, or people with disabilities, or people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community as well.” She’s speaking with the openness that this generation expects from their peers — and from brands.

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The ads drove listeners to a digital experience fueled by the power of music — prompting users to connect their Spotify accounts and share the songs pushing them forward. The activation asked users a simple question: “What do you hope for?” Once they answered with their specific dream for the future — whether it was “more positivity and joy in the small things in my life” or “shared self-reflection that drives more empathy and understanding” — they could then add one song to a collaborative playlist for that specific hope. After submitting the track, they reached a landing page featuring the inspiring voices of the one future, #ckone campaign.

Overall, the campaign delivered over 25M impressions to global users. We also saw which artists resonated the most as this generation shared their hopes for the future: BTS, Harry Styles, Juice WRLD and Ariana Grande were the four most-added artists to listener playlists.

As Gen Z continues to shape what’s next, brands like Calvin Klein can continue teaming up with Spotify to connect with their audience through culture. “We have always been a brand that challenges norms and highlights talent that has a story to tell,” said Murac, “and we’ll continue to push new narratives and engage in cultural moments.”

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