The Seal of Cotton and the slogan “The Fabric of Our Lives” are synonymous with Cotton Incorporated. Whether you see the Seal or hear the famous melody, Cotton Incorporated should automatically come to mind. If that's the case, you are not alone; cotton producers should be proud that more than seven out of ten consumers recognize the Seal of Cotton. Additionally, “The Fabric of Our Lives” advertising campaign, currently in its twelfth year, has won numerous industry awards for its effectiveness in focusing on cotton's role in the lives of Americans. The majority of the time when you read about Cotton Incorporated, its advancements and achievements, the subject is centered around agricultural or textile research. Cotton Incorporated also spends a great deal of time marketing cotton and its unique attributes to the textile industry, which in turn, markets and sells cotton to the consumer.
In January of 2001, Cotton Incorporated unveiled a new campaign targeted at the fashion trade. Cotton Incorporated and its agency, Ogilvy & Mather, New York, creators of “The Fabric of Our Lives” campaign, developed an innovative way to communicate cotton's message to the trade and consumer. While cotton's benefits in apparel and home furnishings are emphasized in each ad, Cotton Incorporated's services to the industry are also highlighted. Lifelike silicone characters, designed by MTV Studios, serve as models for the ads. Each character, 12-inches tall and wearing cotton clothing, is featured in several different ads which range in subject from corporate casual dress to cotton as a performance fiber.
“Over the years, Cotton Incorporated has always found innovative, arresting and breakthrough ways of communicating our message about cotton to the consumer and the trade,” says J. Berrye Worsham, Cotton Incorporated president and CEO. “Our new campaign continues the tradition. We remain committed to ensuring the trade knows that products made of cotton are superior, and are desired by the consumer more than any other fiber.”
Currently, Cotton Incorporated places more than 250 full-page ads in 10 textile trade publications in the United States each year. It is important to remind the textile and apparel industry of cotton's steady climb in market share. Recent NPD data reports cotton's share of the total home fabrics market reached 64.5% in 2000, a new high. Additionally last year, cotton's share of the sheet market reached 67.8%, up 1.6 % from the previous year.
The Lifestyle Monitor is another significant tool Cotton Incorporated employs to relate cotton's message to the textile and apparel community. An ongoing telephone survey of consumer attitudes and behavior regarding clothing, appearance, fashion and fiber selection, the Lifestyle Monitor is also a useful method for understanding consumer retail trends. Monitor articles appear every Thursday on the inside cover of Women's Wear Daily, a high visibility retail trade publication.
Since its introduction in 1994, over 24,000 people have answered the 125-question Lifestyle Monitor survey. The large sample allows Cotton Incorporated to segment the data for analysis. Each week's article, formed around survey results, provides meaningful information to cotton market decision-makers.
During the past thirty-plus years, Cotton Incorporated's research and promotion activities have tremendously aided in increasing consumer demand for cotton products. Today, cotton is the best selling fiber in the world with a 61.5% share of the total retail market for apparel and home furnishings, excluding carpet, in the U.S. Producers throughout the Belt should be proud of their company, Cotton Incorporated, and the work it does in maintaining and creating new markets for Upland cotton.