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Celebrity calendars thrill fans, one day at a time

  • Story Highlights
  • Celebrity calendars still the rage among fans
  • Calendars featuring stars and beautiful women among top sellers
  • Limited-edition Campari calendar features international starlets
By Lisa Respers France
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(CNN) -- What do Elvis, Kim Kardashian, the Jonas Brothers, Dilbert and teen vampires have in common?

Actress Jessica Alba was the featured model in the limited edition 2009 Campari calendar.

Calendars like this one featuring the movie "Twilight" are big sellers.

They are all subjects of hot calendars.

Be it pinned to the wall, tucked in a pocket or lounging on a desk, calendars have maintained popularity even as they face stiff competition from technology.

While just about every cell phone or PDA allows users to keep track of those ever important events and appointments, calendars still seem to hold an allure for users day by day.

"We do not see technology-based calendars as the competition," said Robert Gilbreath, director of marketing for, one of the largest e-commerce sites for calendars on the Web. "They do not evoke memories of past occurrences, experiences, and pleasures."

A cell phone calendar also can't give fans the opportunity to gaze upon 12 images of their favorite celebrity or object of desire in the comfort of their own home or office.

Some of's most popular sellers include classic movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne as well as today's hottest fan favorites like the cast of the movie "Twilight."

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Calendars featuring beautiful women who also happen to be celebrities are also always in demand such as those featuring "Transformers" actress Megan Fox, Hugh Hefner's former girlfriends, known as The Girls Next Door, and a perennial favorite -- the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar.

If sales are any indication, print calendars are still holding their own.

"We've seen double-digit annual growth in our e-commerce channel every year until the last one," said Paul Hoffman, chief operating officer of Calendar Holdings LLC, parent company of and Calendar Club retail stores. "We are very optimistic about the future growth online."

Calendars have a long history as a part of American culture.

Larry Krug, one of the founders of the Calendar Collectors Society, said calendars used to be must have collectors items when they were produced using the works of famous photographers and artists such as Norman Rockwell.

Calendars still have their enthusiasts, Krug said, especially among those who are able to tie in calendars to an already existing passion, such as collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia.

"People collect different kinds of calendars," he said. "There are wall calendars, desk calendars, pocket calendars, towel calendars and calendar plates. It's really a very broad and interesting area."

And while there are a multitude of calendars that can be found -- often in a kiosk at the mall where a savvy shopper knows the prices will drop after the first of the year -- there are some that start out as collectors' items even before they are produced.

The Pirelli calendar, with its limited availability and artistic nude photos of some of the world's most beautiful models, has become a sought-after item known for its exclusivity.

Gruppo Campari, the makers of spirits, wines and soft drinks, also produces a limited-edition calendar every year which is not for sale and has featured various starlets including Eva Mendes, Jessica Alba and Salma Hayek.

Since 2000, the company has employed world-famous and emerging photographers to capture the images, which are designed to tell a story within the calendar.

Chiara Bressani, head of Gruppo Campari's Communication, said the calendars are marketing works of art.

"The calendar is always trying to convey seduction and passion," Bressani said. "It's a creative way of showing what Campari is."

She said the women chosen to appear in the calendars are selected because they convey the Campari values.

The calendars have become very popular in Europe and the United States, Bressani said, despite the fact --or maybe because -- they are not easy to obtain.

"[The popularity] is growing every year," said Bressani, whose company has chosen Bond girl Olga Kurylenko to appear in the upcoming 2010 calendar. "You can enjoy the pictures on the Web, but it's a different feeling when you have the calendar in your hands."

All About PhotographyMovie StarsMegan FoxJessica AlbaMarilyn Monroe

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