Tommy Hilfiger — The preppy fashion label is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Seems like a good moment to rethink the global 8,7 Billion Dollar brand.
Ernest Hemmingway
American Icons print campaign: Ernest Hemmingway.
Jimmy Hendrix
Jimmy Hendrix.
Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger.
Icon Remix: Start site.
Browse the iconic footage archive.
And create your own remix of America.
In 1985, Tommy Hilfiger designed his first men's wear collection – unnoticed. This changed in 1986, when Tommy Hilfiger hired ad man George Lois who decided to have a billboard on New York's Times Square that displayed Tommy Hilfiger's name alongside the three best-known American fashion designers of that time (Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis). This moment launched Tommy Hilfiger's career. Twenty-five years later the Hilfiger brand is worth USD 8,7 Billion and is globally recognised. Though, over the years, it has been perceived to have lost some of its youth and energy.

Via Unit9 we were approached by Blast Radius, a talented Amsterdam based agency which has been asked to create a global advertising campaign to rejuvenate the brand for its 25th anniversary. Mr. Hilfiger has given just five days to conceive it. So, without losing any time, we formed an alliance to create a master plan – we called it Icon Remix.

The plan was to take the most iconic American personalities from around 25 years ago, place Tommy Hilfiger amongst them and give it a good stir.

In practice this meant combing through old Hollywood and broadcast footage and compiling an extensive archive of clips featuring iconic personalities and historical American moments captured on celluloid. These we combined with short clips featuring Tommy Hilfiger.

This interactive archive is open to the public via the internet and as part of rejuvenation process visitors can interact with the footage by re-arrange sections and manipulating the clips. Everybody can create their own version with their very own American icons. The possibility to edit the footage allows unlimited creative freedom. These short movies are then gathered on an online platform where every visitor can review and rate them. When a movie is played, the viewer can click on the actors and personalities to receive additional information about their life and fashion. Some iconic fashion items are also directly accessible from the Tommy Hilfiger Icons Collection.

For the print campaign execution we followed the same concept. We hired famous Swiss painter Gefe to paint portraits of famous American icons from around 25 years ago — of course including the one and only Tommy Hilfiger.

After only five days, and thanks to a splendid team, we conceived and visualised the entire campaign, fulfilling all expectations and winning the account for our friends in Amsterdam.

PS: Nothing to do with this campaign, but talking about Hemmingway. He once wrote a story in just six words, he called it his best work ever. And it goes: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
Strategy, Direction, Design
Tommy Hilfiger, USA
Blast Radius, Amsterdam
Unit9, London
July 2010
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