Erica is the New Black


Above: A subway ad at 71st-Continental Ave for WhatIsTheNewBlack.TV.

After seeing a thousand ads for WhatIsTheNewBlack.TV, I finally checked out the website. As the name suggests, it’s a website that sees if you can identify “the new black”. You pick one top, one accessory and one bottom, and then see “if your black is the new black”. It ranks your picks on Creativity, Wearability and Trendiness. You are then ranked into a fashionista category of either The Futurista, The Eclectic, The Individualist, or The Classic. Here are my interpretations of the fashionista categories:

The Futurist: (They say: No matter what the season you stay a step ahead.) Interpretation: You probably work in the fashion industry or know what’s going on in fashion.
The Eclectic: (They say: You mix and match with a style all your own.) Interpretation: You’re an odd one..
The Individualist: (They say: You have the confidence to dress to please yourself.) Interpretation: You don’t know how to dress yourself.
The Classic: (They say: You know what works and you work it.) Interpretation: You’re boring.

After creating an outfit, you can email it to your friends! The email looks something like the one below.

Above: What do you think? I’m definitely all up for a splash of color!

Above: I sent it to myself to see what the email would look like. It was titled “Erica is the New Black”. hahaha. Thus, the title of this post.

Overall, it’s a great idea, but the flash player takes a really long time to load. But don’t take my word for it! Go check it out!

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7 thoughts on “Erica is the New Black

  1. Hey Tom! Couldn’t agree more! My friends and I are so terribly disappointed in the fact that this seems like an elementary school game, more than an actual campaign. We want to know how we can buy the clothes if we’re actually going to be dressing this crazy lady for 10 minutes! Like you said, we want to see who’s behind this!

    Interestingly, there’s a new designer show coming out on TLC that uses the phrase “is the new black” a billion times in their promo… can’t remember the name, but it has me thinking… perhaps it’s them? But why?

  2. I've been seeing the posters for this at the various station stops along the "A/C/E". I just went to check it out online this afternoon and played with the sight and then I googled it for back story and came up with you, Erica, and also Ask A Copy Writer blog.

    The online fashion choices, #1, should have had NO "real black color" as choices in the them at all (I mean, come on!), and #2, there is no next step "to convert the sale" and #3, as AACW pointed out (paraphrasing), the mystery is not intriguing enough. For me, some of the online fashion choices presented are too "conservative"… which is OK in and of itself because probably the retailer behind this sells conservative looks as well… so, IMO, there should be no phase #2 for this teaser campaign… "enough, just give me the discrete tiny link to H&M or Target."

    I am sure that the people behind this campaign are reading all of this public feedback that we are publishing. I hope that they will make phase-2 of this "teaser" campaign better. There has to now be a phase-2 to convert some people to the sale, otherwise, what is the point?

    Thinking outloud, it may have hit the mark as a successful two phase teaser campaign if, on this first phase online, the fashion choices were simply all out "harashuku crazy," but then, the retailer who put up the money for this campaign is probably not selling "harashuku crazy" clothing (I guess you have to go to harashuku for that).

    The phrase "whatisthenewblack.tv" is such a valuable "resource" to me — because i am big into fashion, subway/street advertising, the street artist Poster Boy, color naming, and NYC city life.

    I was very excited when I saw the "whatisthenewblack.tv" posters and I still very much am. I think the posters themselves really, really hit the mark — and they work very well scattered about the subway stations as singles — instead of being grouped as a "station domination." And, certain friends of mine (with similar interests) and I were txt-ing each other about it, with great glee, without even having gone online yet. (Some other poster campaigns that resonate with me are Dentyne face time, Continental Airlines, and Jameson Whiskey)

    In one sense, the phase-1 online portion of this campaign squanders, somewhat, MY resource — the resource in MY psyche. I was / am their prime demographic. I still want this retailer and this ad agency (or, whoever takes on this phrase in the future) to very much succeed with this campaign because the phrase "whatisthenewblack.tv" resonates so strongly with me. Even if they never branch out to mens fashion, I would still spread the word far and wide to my hip fashionista girl friends and to my hip Advertising watchers.

    The current retailer behind this campaign just might not be able to deliver on the crystalizing and big possibilities that "whatisthenewblack.tv", as a phrase on a colorful poster/billboard, inspires.

  3. Lame! It’s like a gimmick. Hate to think of how much debt they’ll be in for PR and freelance design fees, though!

  4. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that there were only 4-5 choices for each piece… so how unique can your choice actually be, anyway? Not so unique.

  5. Hahah your interpretations are funny! I always thought of “that eclectic person” and “that individualistic person” as the same thing, though… anyway, I don’t think this will be very popular – it’s slow and it calls people names according to an algorithm’s opinion! Isn’t it hard to make money on negativity unless you’re talking about other people or making people laugh? Maybe if “This is the New Black” were geared towards young teenaged girls, but there’s already Polyvore for creating digital outfits with the pro of instant feedback from a variety of people. And there’s no flash involved. 😉

  6. 1. when I did this the girl put on a different outfit than the one I had made.
    2. I got futurist…but I don’t think that’s actually true, especially because the girl pretty much picked out her own outfit and didnt listen to me.
    3. Loading took forever.
    4. What’s the point? Why are there so many subway ads for this? How/why did they pay for them? How are they making money? I don’t get it.

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