Founded in 1970, Cotton, Incorporated is overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture. The company is funded by US growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products.
Cotton, Incorporated’s board consists of cotton producers who represent more than 30,000 producers in 18 states. The company had $72.6 million in sales in 2007, and has a white on brown “Seal of Cotton” logo recognized by 75% of the American population. Company competitors include DuPont, Celanese and International Cotton Market.
In 1994, Cotton, Incorporated implemented a campaign in Mexico to establish brand recognition. In 1996 the company began using the tagline “If It Has This Seal, It Is 100 Percent Cotton” to continue the Mexican brand recognition campaign.
The best known Cotton, Incorporated campaign is “The Fabric of Our Lives” campaign. The television spots featured average Americans using the company’s products, including sheets, towels, denim, casual clothes, and underwear. Cotton, Incorporated created two websites to accompany the campaign: thefabricofourlives.com and mysteryfabric.com.
The TV campaign won Ogilvy & Mather’s second annual President’s Award in 1999, as it was deemed the best creative work in the agency that year.
The campaign also won the David Ogilvy award, which is given yearly to the campaign named most effective in the marketplace.
In 1988, Cotton, Incorporated ran a year long campaign in Martha Steward Living Magazine. Cotton, Incorporated also won an Effie for the well-known jingle “The Touch, The Feel of Cotton, The Fabric of Our Lives.”
Ogilvy & Mather was the advertising agency in charge of the Cotton, Incorporated account until 2004 when the account transferred to DDB New York.
With the new advertising agency came a new campaign aimed at the company’s target: women 18-34 years old who are passionate about clothes and shopping. The campaign ran on numerous TV stations including FOX, The WB, Nick at Night, TBS, E!, VH1, TNT, The Learning Channel, HGTV, Oxygen, and Lifetime. The ads also ran in select movie theaters.
With the goal of building consumer demand for cotton, Cotton, Incorporated sponsored the Style Network and New York Metro TV’s Full Frontal Fashion Channel during Fashion Week in 2002.
Cotton, Incorporated began promoting its products in India in 2003.