A new television ad campaign has been launched by Cotton Incorporated, marking “the beginning of a new era,” says the leader of the producer and importer-funded research and marketing organization.

The campaign, part of Cotton Incorporated's $20 million advertising budget for 2004, also sees the retirement of the highly recognizable slogan, “The Fabric of Our Lives,” from its television ads.

“We're very excited about this new TV campaign,” says J. Berrye Worsham, Cotton Incorporated president and chief executive officer. “The focus of the new commercials celebrates women's passion for shopping and for clothes, and demonstrates the important role cotton plays in both.”

Two of the seven new TV ads, created by CI's new advertising agency, DDB New York, began airing April 14 on WB, Fox, Bravo, HGTV, Lifetime, TBS, TNT, Nick at Nite, The Learning Channel, VH1, E!, and Oxygen.

Titled “Floating Cotton” and “Mannequins,” the commercials are slated to run on 16 TV networks, targeted to women in the 18-34 age group, Cotton Incorporated's key audience.

“We feel we've created a campaign that speaks directly to women,” says Lee Garfinkle, chairman and chief creative officer of DDB New York.

“The new cotton ads playfully and positively acknowledge that an important part of being a woman is enjoying your clothes, wanting more clothes, and finding great pleasure in shopping for them.”

More than 100 different wardrobe selections are featured in the TV commercials — all made of cotton and cotton-rich fabrics. Viewers will be given an opportunity to identify specific wardrobe items by going to Cotton Incorporated's consumer Website, TheFabricofOurLives.com, which will continue to operate under that name.

Movie theaters will also be used to air one of the commercials, “Floating Cotton,” during the campaign's launch phase. In addition to the TV ads, DDB is charged with developing an integrated media campaign for Cotton Incorporated that will include print, the Internet, and sales promotions. In support of the print advertising, an aggressive schedule is planned in more than 15 lifestyle, home, and fashion magazines.

DDB, one of the world's largest advertising networks, was selected as Cotton Incorporated's new advertising agency in November, 2003, following an intensive review. It replaces Ogilvy & Mather/New York, which was CI's agency of record for more than 30 years. DDB has more than 200 offices in about 100 countries.

Cotton Incorporated is funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products.

e-mail: hbrandon@primediabusiness.com