Eternity: The men of Christy

1 - Eternity 1988, the original campaign
Models: Christy Turlington and Lambert Wilson
Ph: Bruce Weber
Director: Richard Avedon

Calvin's image evolves from leer to Eternity.
(campaign for new Calvin Klein perfume Eternity centers around the family)
WWD | July 22, 1988 | Wiest, Robin

NEW YORK--Wedding rings. Parents and children. Snuggling on the beach. Long walks together. Family life.

This is Calvin Klein's homage to what he sees as an "age of spirituality." It's also the theme of the new ad campaign for his Eternity women's fragrance, the details of which were released exclusively to WWD.

Featuring a series of soft black-and-white spreads of a sentimental day at the beach for a married couple and three children, the ads are scheduled to make their debut next month. The campaign reflects Klein's new point of view in his advertising for all of his businesses, as well as in his personal life.

"I think we have matured since the Sixties and experimentation, the Seventies and being absorbed with self, and the Eighties, the age of greed," Klein said Thursday.

"This has brought me to an age of spirituality and I have happened to have fallen in love and gotten married and I'm totally involved in my marriage and my commitment to my wife, Kelly. We are just two people who feel what many people feel, that where true happiness lies is in doing things for other people."

The new campaign is a dramatic contrast with the other ads with which Klein has long been associated: the suggestive Brooke Shields series for his jeans and the provocative, blue-toned Obsession ads featuring a nude woman entwined with a group of nude men.

"The Eternity ad campaign is a statement about a couple and children," Klein said. "It's about the cycle of life. It symbolizes commitment. I think that is a feeling that is happening all across the country."

The similarities between the ads and Klein's personal life go only so far.

"Kelly is not pregnant," said the designer, with a laugh. He said colleagues who have seen the ads have asked the same question. At a recent business meeting, for example, he said, "I have an announcement to make," and Robin Burns, president of Calvin Klein Cosmetics, told him she thought he was about to become a father again. The announcement was actually about Kelly Klein returning to the company.

The team behind the steamy Obsession ads, which will have a new look next year, as befits a more AIDS-conscious era, showed they could also evoke the romance of Eternity. Bruce Weber, who photographs all of Klein's ads, shot the Eternity series. Richard Avedon directed the television commercials, which have not been completed.

In its entirety, the Eternity print campaign is a 10-page portfolio, not unlike those for his fashion ads. It will run only in the September editions of W, Vogue and Vanity Fair.

The first page is matte white, displaying only the name of the scent and Calvin Klein, and opens to the signature photograph, French actor Lambert Wilson and Christy Turlington--the new Klein model--in a soulful embrace. With her left hand clearly visible, her wedding band becomes the focus of the page. Three other spreads follow: Turlington and two children napping; Wilson lying on a beach, holding a young boy to his chest, and, finally, a long shot of the whole family skipping through the surf. The final page is a portrait of the Eternity perfume, in color.

Other magazines will carry just the photograph of the couple, with a color inset of the fragrance bottle.

Eternity will be launched in 680 doors across the country in late August and September, but millions already know its floral scent. In June, when Burns unveiled the scent in Saks Fifth Avenue's New York flagship and its Southampton, N.Y., branch as part of her traditional pre-selling strategy, she started running four-page ads. The ads included a potent scented strip, an Irving Penn shot of the bottle and an order form. Approximately 14 million strips ran in June. Another 14 million are set for August issues.

The commercial "will tell the same story, but in a different way," Burns said. It will air on a co-op basis with stores as they start unveiling the scent in their markets and again for the holiday period.

Klein said Avedon is shooting 10 30-second commercials, starring Turlington and Wilson, which "will say everything I'm feeling about life and relationships."

Working happens to be one of Klein's obsessions, and he's already started planning a mate for the new scent: Eternity for Men.

The new women's scent is Burns's third fragrance launch since she joined Calvin Klein Cosmetics in 1983.

"Obsession was developed with seven people in our total New York office," she said. "When we had a question to resolve or a decision to make it would require me not even walking across the hall. I could yell out and ask the question verbally and get a answer. Now, decisions aren't made as quickly as that, but I think that as a result of having quality people focus on a brand with experience and discipline and strategy, it may take us longer to make a decision but it's better and more well thought out."

One of the things Burns has been able to accomplish with Eternity is a four-year plan for the brand, including a timetable for typical ancillary products and some unexpected line extensions.

Some observers suggest Eternity will outpace Obsession, which, after an enviable period of growth, has started to settle down.

2 - Eternity 1991
Models: Christy Turlington and Chris Ives
Ph: Bruce Weber
Director: Bruce Weber


It's pure Calvin.
WWD | September 27, 1991 | Born, Pete

NEW YORK -- Clavin Klein is pleading innocence.

A new series of Eternity TV spots exude lyrical purity -- children dressed in white, frolicking on beach and in a field, whispering lines such as "I want to dream this day forever" and "I spread my arms and climb the air."

It's a sharp reversal from the original 1988 campaign he did with Richard Avedon, 10 vignettes depicting a couple debating the psychosexual ramifications of love, commitment, jealousy, betrayal, birth and renewal.

"Those commercials were very special, very effective and the perfume was a big hit," Klein said. "Yet I felt I was sending a mixed message and I knew the next time I would do them, I would say it differently."

The spots had an "almost surreal" quality that "became like a melodrama," said Klein, who gets involved in every facet of planning an ad shoot. "It was not exactly what I wanted to say."

In addition, the Eternity TV commercials interpreted the product concept differently from the print ads, which had more domesticity and less daring. The new Escape campaign is more synergistic.

Klein said that after the original Eternity campaign was under way, he realized that photographer Bruce Weber, who shot the print ads, "understood what I had in mind."

When it came time to reevaluate Eternity's advertising, therefore, Klein went to Weber to do the TV, as well as the print.

Times have changed, said Klein, and he is trying to do and say things differently.

"The message has to be clear," he said, describing the new campaign. "Today it has to be more focused. It is not a crazy time. When I did Obsession [in 1985], you could do crazy things. This is very grounded. These people have their feet on the ground. There is no insanity."

Broadcasts of three of 11 new 30-seconds spots began this month in more than half of the 65 markets in which the campaign will be seen this season. The entire series will New York to promote a gift-with-purchase promotion at Macy's Northeast, according to Carmen Dubroc, senior vice president of marketing at Calvin Klein Cosmetics.

The new print campaign -- which, like the TV commercials, was shot in Santa Barbara, Calif. -- will appear in the February editions of fashion and women's magazines.

No one would disclose budgets, but industry sources estimate that Klein spent $1.5 million to produce the 11 new TV commercials. Air time during the course of a year comes to about $7 million for each of his five brands. About half of that is reportedly paid by department stores under co-op arrangements.

Not everyone was enchanted with Klein's homage to innocence. Censors at CBS raised "concerns" about two of the spots, according to Klein. In one, the camera pans slowly over the clothed leg of a child perched in a tree and in the other, a young boy and girl tentatively embrace in their first kiss.

The "kiss spot" was approved for viewing after 9 p.m. and the tree segment was given to individual stores for submission to local stations, Dubroc said. CBS executives could not be reached for comment.

While Klein downplayed his brush with censorship -- asserting that "it was dealt with, it is over with and we are going on the air" -- he branded the objections as "ridiculous."

"Sometimes I think there are a different set of rules [for me] because I've taken risks," said the man who conceived some of the most sexually provocative advertising of the Eighties. "I do understand that there is a certain sensitivity about children kissing, but I think I've done something really beautiful and I'm proud of it.

"I was touched," he said. "I remember my first kiss. It was a special moment with the first girl ever kissed."


3 - Eternity 1995
Models: Christy Turlington and Mark Van der Loo
Ph: Peter Lindbergh
Director: Peter Lindbergh

Calvin's new passion.
WWD | December 02, 199
4 | Born, Pete

New York - Calvin Klein has embraced romantic passion.

Known for his cerebral, sexually ambiguous campaigns for his other fragrances, Klein has gone in a new direction. for his Eternity scents. He is going straight for sensuality and emotion.

Against a background of crashing surf, models Christy Turlington and Mark Van der Loo are seen kissing and caressing on a Hawaiian beach. Except for the fact that they are standing instead of rolling around in wet sand, they will remind more than one person of the Burt Lancaster-Deborah Kerr clinch in "From Here to Eternity," one of Hollywood's steamier love scenes and among its most memorable.

Considering the resemblance to the film (which also took place in Hawaii) and the name of the product, Klein was asked how much influence the 1953 movie had on the commercial.

None, he said, although he admitted, "When I think of the beach my mind automatically gravitates to that [scene]. It's such a classic."

In the Eternity spot, Turlington delivers the line, "Time can't touch us. The past and future disappear."

"This is the Nineties," said Klein. "Very direct. It's the way it should be. "

The new 30-second spot, which will begin airing on network TV Wednesday, represents an evolution from the first two Eternity campaigns. The original series of commercials. which supported the 1988 launch of Eternity and its 1989 follow up, Eternity for Men, was shot by Richard Avedon and consisted of 10 vignettes depicting a couple debating the psychosexual ramifications of love, commitment, jealousy, betrayal, birth and renewal.

The second campaign, produced in 1991 by Bruce Weber, took a much softer approach. It featured children and focused on innocence.

The new spots, which will be accompanied in March by a magazine campaign, refocuses the story onto the couple. There are two similar commercials, one tagged with the Eternity women's fragrance and the other with the men's scent.

For Klein, the people in the campaign define the message.

"It's about romance and sharing and good solid values," he said. "[Turlington] represents the woman of today, who woman's body. She is round and there is flesh on her. She is not an anorexic model."

He added that the casting in his commercial mirrors "the big changes going on in the fashion world."

"Is she supposed to be a skinny nothing of a person who disappears or a person who is glamorous?" he asked.

Klein said he had been surprised by the recent "commotion" in the media following his decision to use Turlington for his collections, while continuing with the waif-like Kate Moss for his CK fashion collection and Obsession fragrance advertising.

As for incIuding Turlington in his spring ready-to-wear show, Klein said of her full-bodied glamour, "She will be representing us in a different way."

He added that Turlington is in the fragrance ads because she is his Eternity woman, just as Moss will continue to appear in the commercials for Obsession.

In addition, Moss is starting to fill out, Klein said.

"She's gaining weight," he said. "She has started to have a woman's body. She is growing up."

Klein said the emotional force of the new campaign "probably" will be more effective in cutting through the clutter on TV than the previous spots. It is an important consideration, since Eternity is now the largest of Klein's four fragrance brands and has excellent prospects for growth, despite its age, according to Paulanne Mancuso, president and chief executive officer of Calvin Klein Cosmetics, the designer's fragrance and cosmetics licensee.

Because the Eternity brand has achieved what Mancuso describes as "classic" status and is therefore a prime gift item, the company is stepping up its December advertising support.

For the first time, Klein will advertise on network TV, in addition to its traditional practice of using spot TV on a co-op basis with retailers.

Next's week debut of network commercials will be followed by another week of spots in what Mancuso estimated as 50 to 60 markets. The spots will be tagged with a value set.

The print ads will break in March in more than a dozen women's and men's magazines and 17 million scented strips will appear in April and May editions. The campaign will continue through the year.

"We are not only about creating new fragrances," Mancuso said, "we are also about protecting existing businesses."


4 - Eternity 1997
Models: Christy Turlington and Norbert Michalke
Ph: Juergen Teller
Director: Juergen Teller

Eternity really is a vacation at the beach, but Klein should give his 'vision' a rest
February 25, 1997|By Susan Reimer

CALVIN KLEIN, the designer who brought us waifs and teen-aged junkie wanna-be's, has discovered marriage and family.

In an advertising campaign that began last week, supermodel Christy Turlington has found herself a stud-daddy in newcomer Norbert Michalke and they are romping on the beach with two children in praise of "Eternity," the Calvin Klein fragrance, one presumes, for family vacations.


The print ad is an eight-page, black-and-white picture story that begins with a couple and moves to a family of four on an isolated beach. It premiered in this deluxe form in the March issues of Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle and Allure. It is stunning for its departure from the glamour of the fashion and fragrance ads around it.

The television ad, which will begin showing soon, is a black-and-white home video of the same scenes. The only sounds are of sea gulls and the waves. A voice-over at the conclusion says, "Eternity. Calvin Klein."

"It is a departure for Calvin," said spokeswoman Jan Sharkansky.

"It is a return to what Calvin feels is a very important statement of family values, everlasting love and nesting and intimacy. A return to the traditional."

Which implies that Calvin was once traditional, and not the guy who mainstreamed anorexic girls and half-naked, tattooed boys, which is what, if you want to know, us potential Eternity buyers fear the most.

"Calvin always seems to have a vision of the cultural statement to come," said Sharkansky.

" 'Obsession' was about sex and passion in the '80s. For him, the '90s are about the return of everlasting love. For Calvin, that's Eternity."

What the ads don't say is that if you don't do a decent job of raising the children in your family of everlasting love, they will end up in an ad for Calvin Klein jeans.

It was that 1995 campaign, you will recall, that featured young models showing a lot of "vulnerability" and a fair amount of underwear. The models were photographed with their legs akimbo and looking like they were nodding off in a shooting gallery.

Charges of child pornography rained down on Calvin and he pulled the ads, but he had made his point. He was aiming at a generation of jean buyers, "who do only what they want to do."

Now we have a view of marriage and family from the man whose view of blue jeans is aimed at the crotch and who thinks that kids "who do only what they want to do" belong on a billboard in Times Square.


5 - Eternity 2002
Models: Christy Turlington and Aaron Ward
Ph: Juergen Teller
Director: Juergen Teller

Calvin Klein Cosmetics Company Launches a New Global Advertising Campaign For Eternity Fragrances.
PR Newswire | January 17, 2002

NEW YORK -- Calvin Klein Cosmetics Company is expanding on the ETERNITY(R) fragrances' ideal of lasting love and intimacy in a new advertising campaign that debuts globally in February 2002. The new campaign consists of two 30-second television commercials and four print layouts, focusing on significant moments in family life.

The television commercial features scenes of family life as recording artist Aimee Mann sings Burt Bacharach's "What the World Needs Now is Love" in the background -- the first time a song has been used in a Calvin Klein fragrance commercial. The print advertising, depicting life's special moments, will feature the tagline "Love, Sweet Love," and is designed to resemble photographs pulled from a family album.

"ETERNITY has always been about love, family love and commitment," said Hilary Dart, President, Calvin Klein Cosmetics Company. "With this campaign, we are adding new intimate, life-evolving images to that message."

Shot in black and white on location at a weekend house near the beach, the campaign was photographed and directed by Juergen Teller -- who has worked on earlier ETERNITY campaigns and whose work has appeared in such publications as Vogue, Arena and French Glamour. The campaign was created by Calvin Klein's in-house advertising agency CRK Advertising and Neil Kraft of New York-based Kraftworks Advertising.

Christy Turlington continues as the ETERNITY woman and Aaron Ward is introduced as the ETERNITY man. Sisters Jessie and Tyler Van Derent play the couple's children, along with Mr. Ward's son, Nyima.


What is your favourite ETERNITY campaign?
1988, Christy and Lambert
1991, Christy and Chris
1995, Christy and Mark
1997, Christy and Norbert
2002, Christy and Aaron free polls


AngelLover said...

First : WOOOOOW !!!! I've never seen the 1988 commercial !!! Just fantastic !!!! Thank you Johec !!! :o) :o) :o) :o) :o)
Then, the vote was difficult, as I love photoshoots from 1991 with Chris and 1997 with Norbert, but I prefer videos from 2002 with Aaron and I adore the one from 1995 with Mark....
So I voted Mark.... the photoshoot is anyway great.... :o) :o) :o) :o) :o)
Thank you very much for this topic !!!

Johec said...

you're welcome Angel! it was also difficult to me since I love more than one campaign but I voted 1995 too, Christy and Mark Vanderloo.

I just love those commercials and the ads, the style of Peter Lindbergh is just amazing with the right subjects.


Jed Medina said...

Hello Johec!

Fabulous article! I'm blogging about this post of yours at ModelWatch!


Johec said...

thanks, I'm glad you like it! :)

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