Unpacking Away’s Jeremy Allen White Calvin Klein ad parody — and its search for XXL underwear

The luggage brand quickly had to find underwear that would fit its Bigger Carry-On suitcase.

(Photo credit: Away, used with permission)

Campaign: Bigger Carry-On
Company: Away
Duration: January 6-7, 2024

When it comes to luggage, most people think underwear can only go in a suitcase.

Inspired by the viral Calvin Klein advertisement featuring actor Jeremy Allen White, star of The Bear, luggage brand Away demonstrated that a pair of white briefs can also cover a suitcase.

Strategy

On January 4, Calvin Klein launched a campaign featuring White, continuing its tradition of using celebrities in billboard advertisements. 

Away creatives took note of the attention the advertisement received and decided to have a suitcase bare it all too.

“The Jeremy Allen White for Calvin Klein campaign quickly broke the internet and had everyone on social media buzzing,” Alice Chen, Away director of social media and community, stated in an email to PRWeek. “Partaking in a cultural conversation where our audience is involved is paramount to Away’s social media strategy, and the content felt ownable and entertaining.”

Tactics

Once they decided to use the Calvin Klein advertisement, the Away marketers wanted to launch their campaign quickly, Chen stated. 

“We knew we had a narrow window of time to get this live while people were still buzzing about Jeremy [in the underwear],” Chen wrote.

Away wanted to feature its Bigger Carry-On suitcase and needed underwear that would fit it. Unable to find any size XXL Calvin Klein boxers in New York, where Away is based, the brand shipped them from elsewhere, Chen explained.

Once the XXL boxers arrived, Away photographed the underwear-adorned suitcase on the ledge of a rooftop with the city skyline in the background.

Two days after the clothing brand released the ad featuring White, Away posted a black-and-white photograph on Instagram with the caption: “Yes, chef,” quoting from The Bear, a hit show starring White, whose character takes over his family’s sandwich shop after a tragic death.

On TikTok, Away shared a gallery with photos of the suitcase in various positions and a short clip from the shoot with the text, “We’ll explain to our boss why we expensed XXL boxer briefs later.”

Results

The Instagram photo generated more than 19,000 likes and more than 400 comments.

The TikTok gallery generated about 200,000 views and 25,000 likes, and the behind-the-scenes video generated more than 98,000 views and more than 1,900 likes.


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