Levi’s Jeans: Basking in the Aura of Cool

Levi’s Jeans: Basking in the Aura of Cool

At CaseCamp6 recently, Brady Murphy of Vortex Mobile and Lisa Rowe of Armstrong Partnership presented the success of Levi’s in achieving double-digit growth (don’t know the exact number) in brand favourability.

The target group was the 17-24 year old “all about me” demographic.

Levi’s certainly was not considered cool by this demographic. And you can’t tell this generation what’s cool.

So Levi’s set out to change this perception by pursuing a strategy of “Sitting in the Aura of Cool”. This past summer, at the Virgin Music Festival, Wakestock and Crankworx (cool, extreme music, wakeboarding and bike events), contests were set up to get “contestant model” attendees into Levi’s jeans, take their photos in a professional photo shoot, and then set them loose with a vote code and shore code. This immersive experience capitalized on one’s inner desire for 15 minutes of fame. Winners could become one of Levi’s next generation of models.

With their codes printed on a card showcasing their photo of them in Levi’s jeans, contestants roamed the event getting friends to vote for them. When a friend voted, they would get a real time response of the ballot count for the contestant they just voted for. Success and activity were measured.

  • Independent post event awareness surveys pegged Levi’s awareness at beyond a Gold level (top investment) sponsor. Levi’s had typically engaged as Bronze level sponsor.
  • Long after the event was over, people were still engaged. The voting applicaton was left on, and in one instance, 57% of the use of the application occurred after the 2 day event was over.
  • Many companies try hard to seed Facebook groups. Without any nudge from Levi’s, 25 Facebook/mySpace grooups were created by model contestants. There were 3500 friends/members and 2500 wall posts. Here’s a snapshot of one of the “vote for me”: Facebook pages that’s still up.

Facebook PageTo find a list of groups in Facebook, search in groups for ‘levis 111222’.

What’s great to see is that this Web 2.0 mobile marketing and immersive social media campaign had discipline and structure:

  • The campaign had goals (raise awareness and brand favourability).
  • Campaign designers analyzed their audience. Knowing that the target demographic was very individualistic and always searching for quick rewards, the campaign gave away surprise prizes to voters throughout the event, so they wouldn’t have to wait until the end to “win” by finding out if their candidate was successful enough to be selected as one of Levi’s new models.
  • They had a plan to measure and track activity. A “traditional marketing” survey was used to measure awareness.

Related info:

  • Case study on Vortex Mobile’s site in pdf.
  • Testing: Brady said that they have done studies that show the benefit of including a real time ballot application. Without real-time feedback, people seem to be 20-25% less involved.
  • Tom Purves CaseCamp6 summary of all 4 case presenters.

June Li


By |2020-02-19T10:19:28-05:00December 4th, 2007|2 Comments


  1. Julie, writer surefirewealth.com February 6, 2008 at 4:16 am

    I suppose congratulations are in order for Levi’s then. And a good pat on the back. They certainly did their research (unlike some companies) and managed to totally turn around people’s perception of their brand. What’s more, the whole Facebook add on did them good. The surprise prizes were a smart move as well. I just can’t help but cheer for brands that successfully market themselves.

  2. June Li February 6, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Hi Julie,

    Indeed a great story. Glad they were able to share it with us!

    Thanks for reading & commenting,

Comments are closed.