The decision by Levi’s to reject a large advertising campaign in favour of more appropriate marketing methods (MW last week) is both brave and admirable.
All too often brands that have a strong belief at their heart fall down by promoting these values in inappropriate ways. In many cases, spending budgets on large scale advertising campaigns to communicate these sorts of messages can do more harm than good, making the brand appear selfimportant. In any marketing campaign relevance is key, but even more so when a brand is promoting its beliefs to consumers, rather than just its products. Get the timing, audience and activity right and a campaign can be powerfully uplifting; get them wrong and the brand may appear smug, and the marketing efforts deemed ultimately irrelevant.
In essence, good campaigns for brands with strong values are characterised by a focus on reality (or a believable version of it). To buy into these ideas consumers need to see the real social events that make them feel genuine emotion – content that pushes our emotional buttons in the right way to enable it to be shared. The strategy adopted by Levi’s will help the campaign succeed on every level.
Steven Dodds, Planning partner, United