Calvin Klein’s Newest Ads: Suggestive QR Codes

Calvin Klein Jeans is known for having fairly racy billboard advertisements, or just racy ads in general. Last year the label debuted an ad in New York City depicting a two guys and a girl in a threesome, and a fourth undressing on the floor that was too suggestive for many people. {Shiny Style}  This year it looks like the brand is trying to capitalize on that history while avoiding it at the same time.

To promote the Calvin Klein Jeans Fall 2010 line, the billboards are much simpler.  There’s two billboards in New York City, and one in Los Angeles, all of which feature the same design.  The ads have the words “Get It Uncensored,” with a large QR code below.  The idea being that those who are walking by the ad (or those who see a picture of the ad) with smartphones will scan the code, and go the the website it points to.  The website has a quick 40-second ad that is every bit as racy as the previous billboards (and seems to show a topless female model for about half a second).  After viewing the video, viewers can send it to their friends on Facebook and Twitter, so even those without smartphones will be able to see the video. {Mashable}

The idea of showing racy ads isn’t exactly new - has been doing it for a while now.  The fact that the ads use QR codes to even view them may be a bit unusual.  In the US QR codes aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as they are in Japan where people have been using them for years.  Not only that, but a vast majority of cell phones users still use feature phone rather than smartphones.  It’s not unreasonable to think that fans of the Calvin Klein Jeans brand would be more likely to have smartphones than the average consumers though. Plus, the early adopters most likely to have an iPhone or Android phone are probably a good demographic, and points have to be given for creating a mobile campaign that gives passersby a reason to stop and share it.

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