How Lacoste helped save the planet while selling polos

Lacoste and IUCN’s Save Our Species campaign last year offered a clever take on wildlife conservation. As part of our Annual 2019 coverage, we speak to BETC’s Fanny Buisseret about creating a campaign with social impact on a shoestring budget

In the fashion world, a timeless logo is typically a failsafe route to customers’ wallets. It’s hard to imagine Chanel getting rid of its overlapping Cs anytime soon, for instance. The same goes for the Gucci double G, or Lacoste’s instantly recognisable crocodile emblem.

As well as being simple enough to work on any medium – whether that’s Instagram or print ads – these symbols are often deeply rooted in the heritage of the brand. In Lacoste’s case, the crocodile dates back to the beginnings of the brand itself when its founder, French tennis legend René Lacoste, was making waves in the tennis world against the backdrop of the Roaring Twenties.

After a particularly memorable Davis Cup match in Boston in 1923, an American journalist christened Lacoste as ‘The Alligator’ in reference to a bet between the tennis player and his coach over a crocodile suitcase. In 1927, an artist called Robert George was commissioned to bring the crocodile to life as the brand’s logo, and the rest is history.