Fake Hilfigers Wary of Social Media

TommyThe latest Tommy Hilfiger campaign is trying to prove its classic, preppy image can still be "cool" in the Facebook era. But the work seems to have created more irony than the prep-school envy it wanted.

The Hilfigers, a fictional upper-crust country club family prone to misadventures, were introduced this fall in global print ads. Shortly after, in mid-November, the company and its agency, Laird+Partners, broke the brand's first TV ad in five years. It shows the fashionable family setting up an elegant outdoor picnic, which then comically descends into chaos. The campaign was designed to capture the brand's "heritage of twisted preppy American sportswear" as well as the "chaotic fun of the holidays," says Tommy Hilfiger. On, users could check out profiles of each family member and details on the looks they're wearing in the TV spot.

This being 2010, rather than, say, 1995, the personalities of the family also have a chance to flower on Facebook, Twitter and other social media, where they can talk directly with consumers who are smitten by the ads.

But so far, no such luck-despite the fact that the brand has about 11,500 followers on Twitter and more than 676,000 likes on Facebook. The Hilfiger Facebook page offers text profiles of four of the family, but states that the foursome will not be posting any of their thoughts until New York Fashion Week in February.

Ironically, one fictitious family member named "Andre" is profiled on the main site as an alum of "a prestigious West Coast school, who has three social media start-ups in the pipeline." Andre, however, is not one of the Facebook four. (But maybe he could consult and speed things along.) All of which goes to suggest that for the fake Hilfiger clan, maybe it still is 1995.

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