Levi's recently announced the launch of “Live Unbuttoned,” a global marketing campaign featuring an ad campaign for the original 501 jean and button fly. While a universal print/TV ad campaign promoting a universal cut is certainly newsworthy, it's really the final phase of an integrated marketing campaign where success could be largely attributed to a PR seeding effort, explains Robert Cameron, VP of marketing for Levi's US.
"The purpose of this [campaign] is to make sure [Levi's is] always in the culture, and so much was work up front,” he says. “The latter part, this part, is TV and print [advertising]".
The announcement is one last clue to the campaign's association with a series of popular, unbranded viral videos that gradually introduced Levi's brand clues and logo. Beginning in May, Levi's has released one “unbutton film” a month to YouTube touting a “live unbuttoned,” free-spirit theme, and user-generated feel.
“What new media teaches us is that people are more responsive to a brand when it's relative to them,” says Cameron. “We felt that was our job, to make our campaign maximally effective and make sure we pre-build and solidify the relevance.”
His team decided to promote the straight-legged 501 fit a year and a half ago, at a time when narrow and straight-leg jeans were trendy, because the company hadn't “talked about [the jean] in a while.”
He calls the Wall Street Journal's “one-size-fits-all” reference “ridiculous” and “misleading.” “501 is a product we have everywhere…[it's] always had a uniform fit.”
Levi's, struggling with the rest of the retail sector, will continue the viral video initiative and announce a new digital effort in August, including an interactive Web site that stars musical talent talking about what it means to "live unbuttoned," and a “cheeky” online game.
Also in style:
Vogue targets an increasing pool of model-hungry, tech-savvy youngsters with Model.Live, an Express-sponsored online reality show set to debut August 19. The series will track three models through fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris.
Fashion brand William Rast touts a multimedia campaign that includes a series of short, Web-based documentaries featuring Justin Timberlake. Colin Dyne, CEO of William Rast, tells WWD, "At first, we were going to only do a print campaign, but we really wanted to utilize the Internet to reach our demographic and create a buzz around the brand. Using new media is crucial in today's world."
Joe Nocera complains about a pitch by Amanda Miller, a VP at Nike Communications, that likens children to fashion accessories.
Summer Fridays are becoming less common at women's magazines.