Review of Calvin Klein Spring 2021 Ad Campaign by Creative Director Dave Free of pgLang with Baby Keem, Amber Wagner, Brent Faiyaz & Exavier
pgLang finally unveils their first project, a collaboration with Calvin Klein. The Spring 2021 ad campaign was directed by pgLang’s Dave Free, who brings in a host of creative talent for a uniquely real series of films with an emphasis on thoughtful storytelling.
Founded by Free and Kendrick Lamar in March of 2020, for a long time pgLang remained shrouded in mystery. They positioned themself as an agency or service that would work alongside artists and creators, but we didn’t know what form this would take. Now, with their debut project for Calvin Klein, the company reveals itself to be offering a fresh take on marketing communications within the fashion industry, and perhaps more.
The campaign is composed of eight short films. While much of the ad work in fashion is concerned with the fantastical, haughty, and maximalist, Free opts for a steady and relatable realism – though he peppers in moments of the surreal. Most of the films follow everyday characters and center on small moments of humor and human connection. A couple of the films find interesting ways to fuse other art forms, like the uplifting and visually excellent short which combines spoken-word poetry and roller dance. But even these artistic experimentations feel like they are speaking to us on a personal level, neither as consumers nor as an elite audience.
As we could have expected from such a team, the films feature excellent production. Thoughtful shots and great music choices bring an artistic elevation to these moments of quiet realism, revealing much beauty within the everyday.
pgLang’s focus on helping creatives tell stories feels refreshing in a time when much of what we see feels like advertising and nothing more. They have helped Calvin Klein connect with people in a way that feels uniquely genuine and unseen before. It is also high time that we saw a high-profile black-owned and led creative agency working within the industry. Already they have expanded our perspective with their subtle and beautiful storytelling, and while we have no idea what they’ll do next, we can’t wait to see it.
Creative Director | Dave Free Agency | pgLang Director | Dave Free Written by | Dave Free Talent, in order of appearance | Mecca Allah, Baby Keem, Travis Bennett, Ryan Destiny, Keith Powers, Amber Wagner, Brent Faiyaz, and Exavier
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