This has to rate as one of THE most controversial (and succesfull) PR campaigns of the past few years...Ok, I consider myself to be fairly up-to-date on my Fendis, Pradas, Guccis, Manolos and the like, so when I saw the schocking image of this ad campaign the first question I asked myself was 'who in the hell is Nolita?' (Communication objective: raise awareness - tick; objective: position the brand as socially responsible, daring, outspoken - tick; PR objective: generate media coverage - tick).
This campaign is a brilliant example of two communication objectives companies so often set themselves, yet so seldomly achieve:
1."integrated" communication efforts. We all know the drill...."all communication efforts - ("through-the-line" in industry jargon), should be complimentary and strengthen the message". But how often have you really seen this in reality? Thought so....
This campaign is a great example of how advertising and PR can and should work together. I'd love to do an AVE calculation and ROI analysis on this one for the client....talk about being a good news bearer!
2. This campaign is just great marketing to women! Anorexia and an acceptable body weight for models have been THE topics of discussion the past 2 years. Nolita has taken a high-profile current-afffairs topic and used it to promote its own brand in a positive manner, putting it in direct opposition to the other fashion brands vying for attention around the time of the world's foremost fashionweek happenings.
99% of the world's women are not affected by anorexia directly or indirectly - most of us don't suffer from the disease nor know women who do, yet the pressure all women feel to look great has made many of us irrationally wish at some point in our lives that we did suffer from anorexia, just so we could be a little thinner, a little less 'in love' with food. Of course for 99% of us this is a fleeting, irrational thought that stays just that: a thought. But as this campaign so graphically shows, the reality of anorexia is devastating. And for the first time in history, 'the enemy' (read: the high fashion brands we deem partly responsible for the trend of thin, thinner, thinnest) takes a stand against all its cohorts and says: NO MORE.
So how did this campaign affect women across the world?
- suddenly we all know the brand Nolita
- we automatically link it to the 'No anorexia' campaign
- we see the brand as a vanguard leader, a socially responsible brand that dares speak its mind in the face of an industry that we all know in effect does nothing to reverse this trend, simply denying the problem or turning a blind eye.
Kudoz to Nolita for having the proverbial balls to launch this campaign.
Now what would be really great is if they kept the momentum of the campaign going by extending it to include other communication efforts: a section on their website that educates consumers about eating disorders and anorexia, a blog of the model in the campaign linked to their website, one year from now another campaign featuring the same model hopefully further along the road to recovery,....I can think of a million ways to continue promoting the cause (and the brand) in the coming months...