Iconix Brand Group Inc.'s mega-watt marketing year almost didn't happen.
When company Chairman and CEO Neil Cole was first presented with the idea of signing pop star and tabloid regular Britney Spears as the face of the Candie's brand, he was not convinced. "I said, 'you're out of your mind,'" the executive recalled with a smile. "The only reason I went along with it was because I thought Kohl's would stop it."
But the retailer, which sells the Candie's products exclusively, gave the go-ahead. And the move has paid off. In the first days after the deal was announced in March, Iconix received roughly 1.7 billion media impressions.
"America loves a comeback story, and it was the year of Britney's comeback, and we were lucky to be there," said Iconix chief marketing officer Dari Marder, who has worked with Cole for 23 years. "We were lucky that [her team was] looking for a partner to show she was marketable again."
Iconix was able to build a large-scale, multiplatform campaign around the singer, who launched her highly successful "Circus" tour this year. In addition to being an associate sponsor of the tour, Iconix unleashed a national print, in-store and television campaign. It also incorporated Candie's apparel and footwear into Spears' music videos and targeted her young fan base through the singer's social networking sites. "It was a 360-degree partnership," said Marder.
Marder said they are currently casting for Op's spring crew, and are working on something "bigger and better" for Candie's. "Britney will be tough to top," she said, "but we think we've got something good."