08 10 11
The initial Levi’s Go Forth spot launching the global campaign by Widen + Kennedy references “The Laughing Heart,” a poem by the late Charles Bukowski. It also features images of protests/riots resulting in a decent amount of criticism and a U.K. ban. Slickly done, but does seem a bit radical for hawking jeans. Lofty is one thing. Aspirational usually is the way to go with branding. Imagery that alludes to violence, not sure. We predict adjustments coming very soon…
08 10 11
Levi’s | Go Forth. This spot sets up the new Levi’s branding campaign (agency: Widen + Kennedy). Capturing visions of America optimism, opportunity, perseverance and young people running shirtless through vacant lots. The spot was directed by a young American filmmaker, Cary Fukunaga. The audio used in the commercial is widely believed to be an original wax recording of Walt Whitman reading four lines of his 1888 poem, America. Great start to what will be a long-lasting branding campaign for the iconic American apparel company. But, the question remains if it will help to cure the struggling brand’s blues…
08 10 11
The Levi’s situation… The Levi’s brand has had a tough time in recent years. Competition, too many products, lack of product clarity, distribution issues, retail failures and marketing have all been cited as part of the world renowned brand’s ills. Levi’s Go Forth campaign (Wieden + Kennedy) has run in North America since 2009 and globally since 2011. The insight (from extensive worldwide research) driving the campaign is that youth today believe it is up to them to make positive change in the world. The Levi’s brand promise has always been about delivering clothing that allows customers to pursue their passions. Go Forth launched in the the U.S. with the Walt Whitman poem “Pioneers! Oh Pioneers!” celebrating the American spirit to make things happen and change (all while wearing Levi’s, of course). An early global Go Forth spot references “The Laughing Heart,” a poem by the late Charles Bukowski with images of riots that got it banned in a few countries.The print work (sampled above) has been stellar (to be expected with W + K). Simple, fresh and high energy. All the right stuff for Levi’s but yet, the denim giant continues to struggle. Shame, but they’re working on it. More to come we are sure…
08 01 11
Google presents Think… The recently introduced quarterly e-zine, also being produced as a hardcover book, is designed as a business marketing vehicle, promoting Google’s insights and analyses of consumer behavior to advertisers and publishers. “Since we are such believers in the power of digital information,” says Lisa Gevelber, head of global ads marketing at Google, “you especially would not expect us to produce a book.” The hard-copy format is intended to be disruptive, she says, with surprise tactile elements. The front cover can be used as a magnetic word-board, for example, and the heat-sensitive end papers react like mood rings. Bravo for investing in some “real” design to communicate your brand’s value and strengths along with lofty future ambitions, but all in all looking way too much like IBM’s Think campaign from more than several years ago. B+ for good intentions, D+ for anything that resembles thoughtful distinctiveness.
06 24 11
FDA goes graphic on cigarette packaging… The U.S. Food and Drug Administration unveiled 36 jarring labels Wednesday aimed at escalating efforts to warn smokers of the fatal consequences of cigarette smoking. These labels represent the agency’s exercise of its new authority over tobacco products and the most significant change in cigarette warnings since companies were forced to add the mandatory Surgeon General’s warning in 1965. “We are pleased with the images they picked,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive of the American Heart Association. “They strongly depict the adverse consequences of smoking. They will get people’s attention. And they will certainly be much more memorable than the current warning labels.” Will be very interesting to see if dramatic imagery changes behavior.