Levi’s is heading into fall with the launch of a new global campaign called “This is a pair of Levi’s.”
The campaign is a continuation of the brand’s broader marketing framework, “Go Forth,” introduced in 2009 by agency Wieden + Kennedy, which also created this latest iteration.
Beyond stating the obvious, and spotlighting a subtle bit of brand heritage (“This is a pair of Levi’s” appeared on the original jeans’ pocket tag), the new “This is a pair of Levi’s” campaign line brings a more product-centric element to the brand’s global advertising.
The “Go Forth” campaign has tended toward a serious, idealistic and at times mythical tone–past anthem spots have included scenes of denim-clad youth running into the ocean but also facing down riot squads. The 2010 “Ready To Work” campaign centered on the down and out rust belt town of Braddock, PA, and saw Levi’s contributing to its recovery. The visually rich work has also been marked by a distinctive audio approach–the ads have focused on poetic voice-overs rather than pounding music.
This latest effort maintains the tone, and revisits the theme of work, but brings the brand more clearly into the picture.
The campaign’s anthem spot, “Thread,” features an assortment of attractive young men and women getting dressed and ready to take on the world. Directed by Lance Acord, the 60-second film is anchored by a spoken word poem, written by W+K copywriter Erin Swanson, that spurs these fresh-faced workers on to great things while making Levi’s central to the narrative (the poem begins: “This is a pair of Levi’s. Buttons and rivets and pockets and cuffs, and the thread that holds it together.”)
W+K creative director Tyler Whisnand says the campaign centered on an unprecedented new collection and the “belligerent optimism” of the targeted young demographic. “The brief started with the fact that Levi’s was creating a new global collection of clothing, a first for the brand,” says Whisnand. “And since our strategy for the Levi’s brand is Levi’s equips people for their journey into new territories, we thought that this year we would highlight the spirit and belligerent optimism of today’s young leaders. These aren’t necessarily leaders in the positions of presidents or prime ministers, but leaders by example. These are leaders who dress with purpose and take on the day’s challenges with vigor and the energy of our times.”
The agency also used a new casting process for the campaign, putting an open call out to “Levi’s wearers and fans” to post photographs of themselves on Instagram wearing Levi’s and tagging the images with #IAMLEVI’S.
As for the overall “This is a pair of Levi’s” campaign, Whisnand says the agency was looking to imbue the new “Go Forth” installment with the craftsmanship statement embodied by the classic “This is a pair of Levi’s” tag “to make a more personal and product focused campaign that could highlight product features as well as the young Levi’s wearers who face the day with hope and strength.”
The spot will begin airing on U.S. TV in mid-August and will appear in cinemas in late September.