Mark Pilkington was CEO of Gossard, a small UK lingerie brand. The company had very limited resources , and therefore Mark realized that he would have to use guerilla tactics to launch the Wonderbra – a push up bra. He decided to use an approach based on public relations and celebrity endorsement, so he seeded the Wonderbra out to the top modeling and celebrity agencies in London.
Over a period of time they found it was an excellent product and started wearing it to shoots, events and parties. Vogue magazine noticed this trend and wrote a full page article on the Wonderbra. Then it was picked up by the British tabloid press who declared it the fashion trend of the year. Sales went up vertically, and the company struggled to keep up with demand. The trend got picked up by international supermodels like Kate Moss, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, and the European fashion industry started to feature it in fashion shows in Paris and Milan. Karl Lagerfeld declared it ‘The greatest fashion innovation of the last decade’, and it became all the rage across the continent. It was a huge success in more than 50 countries, and Mark Pilkington won two Queen’s Awards for Exports.
Gossard did not have the rights to the name Wonderbra in the US, so Mark changed the name to Super-Uplift Bra and launched it the US. It was a huge success, and received blanket coverage on all the networks including CNN, NBC and Fox. Mark toured the US, appearing on numerous talk shows, and was featured in Time Magazine and The Washington Post. Saks Fifth Avenue had the biggest sales day ever in lingerie on the occasion of the launch, and Mark was honoured to receive the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award – a very prestigious celebrity event at the Lincoln Centre in New York. This campaign, which transformed Gossard’s financial performance, cost less than $100,000 per year.