Tommy Hilfiger, Laird+Partners and Tennis Star Rafael Nadal Serve up the Love to Launch Campaign

By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

Tommy Hilfiger served an ace today – not simply because the house enlisted tennis sensation Rafael Nadal as the latest global brand ambassador – but because Tommy knew how to play the net by giving the campaign legs with a teaser campaign, a TV spot and digital/print campaign, and a live event at Bryant Park in New York City.

In true spirit of Tommy preppy humor, the house built a tennis court in the middle of the park, where Nadal played a strip tennis exhibition match with The Hilfigers’ brand models — Noah Mills, Chanel Iman, Constance Jablonski, Hannah Davis  and others — while comedic actress Jane Lynch played announcer and referee. Needless to say, there was plenty of “Love” in the air that included mobs of fans as well as celebrities from Martha Stewart to Lake Bell cheering on the match.

Far too often fashion houses hire a celebrity/athlete as a spokesperson and simply rush to a photoshoot without capitalizing on all that talent can do for their brand. And even more rare is for a brand to seemlessly integrate that talent into their story as the team at Hilfiger as done here.

However the smart marketing wasn’t all at the event as Trey Laird and the team at Laird+Partners plus the marketing/pr team at Tommy wisely created a dynamic teaser campaign for the launch. The Hilfigers models did a little playful trash talking suggesting that Nadal brings his A-game. In addition a full page of the New York Times was dedicated to the back of Nadal with nothing but a label and #TOMMYXNADAL to entice.








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That lead up was augmented by a thirty second spot entitled “It all comes off” as well as a print campaign by Laird+ Partners featuring Nadal disrobing in a locker room. The results will draw more than a few eyeballs to the briefest of briefs.

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Teaser campaign, live event, court side hijinks from the designer himself, cast of brands models, social media, solid creative, great pr and the celebrity talent all add up to one of the smartest marketing launches of the year. Looks like we just got served a Grand Slam.

Game, Set, Match. Tommy.