Karlie Kloss and Christy Turlington Burns are both supermodels, so it makes sense that a brand like Cole Haan would want to feature them in a new campaign. But “Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Stories” goes beyond merely presenting them as looking great while wearing the products. The video ads give both women a forum to talk about what they do to make the world a better place.
On one hand, the campaign gives us stylish profiles of Kloss and Burns, which we expect from a fashion brand. However, the stories delve deeper into the causes they support and why. Burns talks about her work with Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and funds to help make pregnancy and childbirth safer for women around the world. Kloss, meanwhile, talks about the motivation behind Kode with Klossy, a two-week summer camp program that teaches girls to code, with the aim of encouraging more female leaders in tech.
Cole Haan’s chief marketing officer and general manager of business development David Maddocks says the idea for the multimedia campaign was initially inspired by the company’s approach to product innovation. Created in-house, the goal was to find a campaign idea that reflected the notion of being smarter about the things the company does and the style it creates, which Maddocks says is systemic to its culture.
“We were really discussing how the world of fashion has its unwritten rules on communication–a lot of gloss, a lot of flare, short on copy, big on logo. If you flip through the pages of any fashion magazine and you cover up all the logos, you get the language of the industry,” says Maddocks. “The point isn’t about looking like Karlie Kloss or Christy Turlington Burns, it’s about, if you choose, you can live a life with purpose and have that in common with them. And that just seems like a more substantive way to have a dialogue with our customers.”
Beyond Kloss and Burns, the brand is getting the word out in a few different ways. It teamed with Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter for custom content around the new campaign, and there’s also a partnership with Gimlet for a roundtable discussion around “Extraordinary Stories” among a handful of its podcast hosts, including Lisa Chow (Startup), Flora Lictman (ELT), Brittany Luse (The Nod), and Wendy Zukerman (Science Vs.).
“These two women have credibility in fashion,” says Maddocks of Kloss and Burns. “But one of the things we wanted to do is enter fashion’s party and be the smartest conversation in the room.”