For 40 Years, Cotton Has Been 'The Fabric Of Our Lives'
Back in the '70s, cotton's problem was synthetics like polyester whose champions included no less than the King of Soul, James Brown, whose clinging shirts charged with static electricity. Cotton fought back with "a PR assault at a time when branding a commodity was virtually unheard of," Collins says. It sponsored the 1976 Olympic Games and enlisted celebrities such as Barbara Walters to build its image. Nowadays, Leona Lewis croons about the fabric of her life.
But branding expert Rob Frankel feels the brand message is a bit frayed around the edges. "Nobody really has an idea what cotton is and why they should prefer it to anything else, in the way that they understand that milk is something that you drink to get calcium," he says. "They don't know why you should wear cotton."
But wear it they do.