You've probably heard about this by now, as it's all over social and mainstream media. Calvin Klein is in trouble over a billboard that stereotypes women being focussed on seducing men, while men are focussed on making money.
The board's down now (according to the brand's PR "as part of the planned rotation of our spring 2016 advertising campaign"), but not before this happened:
The creator of the video is Heidi Zak, CEO of lingerie company ThirdLove. That's right, a competitor of Calvin Klein's in the underwear industry.
While Ms. Zak is justified in saying that CK's ad is awful, what's interesting is that her brand is all over that video. And her Change.Org petition, Take Down Sexist Billboard In NYC. And the hashtag, #MoreThanMyUnderwear. And, of course, all the earned media.
In short, Ms. Zak has turned anger against a major brand into a highly-effective PR campaign for her own.
It's not surprising that marketers are riding the waves of social media outrage that result from tone-deaf ad campaigns like the CK one. In a way, this is a win-win situation for both CK and ThirdLove, as both are being talked about. CK gets to keep being credibly "naughty," as they have been since the Brooke Shields days. ThirdLove gets to champion the interests of "real women." And all it took was one insulting billboard.
Media may be getting more complicated, but the marketing strategies couldn't be simpler.