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Cotton Makes Social Interaction the Fabric of Its Brand

  |  August 23, 2010   |  Comments

A new site and Facebook page aim to boost communication with consumers.

The Cotton campaign has a new Web site and Facebook page that aim to increase communication with consumers and reinforce the message that cotton is still the “fabric of [their] lives.” The long-running campaign, backed by U.S. cotton producers and importers, says the new channels fit better with its digital and social media strategy. It also aligns the brand more with the world of fashion.

Glenn Sciachitano, director of advertising, says Cotton has added a series of social applets on Facebook as a result of a relationship with Buddy Media, a social media platform. These so-called “sapplets” enable Cotton to run polls, show videos and “basically give our Facebook page the look and feel of other Internet environments.” Cotton has a little over 19,000 Facebook fans.

Meanwhile the overhauled Web site features music from singers Colbie Caillat and Leona Lewis as well as content focusing on the cotton in their lives. Other editorial content includes posts on fashion trends and a blog that documents the development of a fashion line by stylist Anthony Franco. Franco helped style celebrities Zooey Deschanel and Miranda Lambert for a TV shoot when Cotton relaunched its “Fabric of Our Lives” campaign in April 2009.

“We saw an opportunity to expand our relationship with him by allowing him to blog about developing a cotton-rich collection," said Sciachitano. The collection will debut at Fashion Week Los Angeles in the fall.

A "weekly picks" section with garments chosen by Franco will include links to retailers so consumers can easily purchase those pieces as well as a “Look for Less” section where clothing from Cotton’s commercials are highlighted and Cotton shows a more affordable item that looks similar, Sciachitano says.

Digital agency DDB worked with Cotton on the campaign. According to Deborah Broda, account director at DDB, Cotton previously sent periodic mail blasts to alert customers of promotions or news. She said the Facebook page and relaunched site let users interact with the brand on their own terms.

“The brand is now posting more regularly on Facebook to stay in touch with those audiences, and DDB and Cotton have created banner ads that drive consumers to various portions of the new site,” she said. “We changed the infrastructure so we can start and propagate conversations and get [customers] talking about all things cotton – from jeans to couture gowns."

Broda adds that the content will maintain a more constant dialogue with Cotton’s customers and inspire women to come back to the site proactively to check the blog, download new content and interact with the apps rather than wait for Cotton’s outbound communications.

Cotton and DDB previously worked together on several microsites – including mysteryfabric.com and doyouknowgreen.com -- as well as the new Fabric of My Life campaign site last year. That site allowed users to download full songs featured in TV ads for free, see behind-the-scenes footage and access interviews. Each celebrity partner was given her own interactive vehicle on the site, such as a Zooey Deschanel stylebook and an interactive tour of Miranda Lambert’s closet.

The enthusiastic response to the site prompted Cotton to overhaul its Web presence because it demonstrated the value in creating social and digital experiences for a younger, more stylish audience, Sciachitano says. There were about 250,000 downloads of the songs featured in Cotton’s TV commercials last year.

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Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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