new campaign, 'Ready To Work'
, is the latest installment of the extensive and heavily integrated Go Forth
strategy. Following a boom time in the 80s and early 90s, Levi's has struggled to balance heritage with a more future-facing view, combining the inherent fluctuations of the apparel sector with the brand's wholesome work-horse roots. However, a series of marketing initiatives designed to coincide with its 150th anniversary are actively encouraging consumers to explore ways of shaping the next 150 years and contributing to a brand renaissance for America's most famous denim.
is the lead agency responsible for 'Ready To Work', and has built the entire campaign around the small American borough of Braddock, Pennsylvania
. Thanks to its young mayor, John Fetterman
(who has Braddock's zip-code tattooed on his arm), the borough is quickly gaining notoriety as a showcase for urban renewal.
We caught up with Wieden's creative director on Levi's, Tyler Whisnand
, and Doug Sweeney
, VP, Levi's Brand Marketing, to get some background on the campaign, and explore the notion of brand as cultural identifier.Tyler Whisnand:
The brief called for a campaign to express the meaning of Go Forth as well as to present a new line of Levi's Work Wear. The idea quickly took off to make something tangible and long-lasting with Levi's exploring the idea of what work means in these times. We were inspired by the Works Progress Administration
(WPA) which was formed by the U.S. government during The New Deal
. People went to work to put the country back together during the Great Depression. With this in mind, we went looking for a place where a group of people were doing the new work in the interest of rebuilding and reviving their world.Doug Sweeny:
We focused our new Go Forth campaign on Braddock, Pennsylvania because we were inspired by the incredible resiliency and the core optimism of the people in Braddock. Mayor John Fetterman's radical steps to rebuild and revitalise his town have become a model for how any city, in any part of our country, can prevail as a symbol of hope and change.TW:
Photographer and filmmaker Melodie McDaniel
and our Wieden+Kennedy creative teams spent a great deal of time in Braddock getting to know the people with whom we would make the campaign. Director John Hillcoat
had worked previously in Braddock and wished to return to make an inspiring piece about the hope and possibility of urban renewal. In short, Wieden+Kennedy and its creative contributors, Levi's and the people of Braddock created this campaign together.
We felt welcomed as part of the town and felt strongly about the messages we were making and stories we wished to tell. The pioneer spirit is alive and well, and the frontiers are right in front of us. Levi's, as an authentic brand of work wear since 1853, approached this project with sincerity and committed itself to contributing to Braddock's renewal knowing that Braddock's example would be both tangible and inspiring to other communities that also are struggling to reinvent themselves in the face of the world's economic realities.
Our goal is partnering with Braddock is simple - we want to help contribute in some small way to the real work and real change happening there. We're proud to be funding the refurbishment of Braddock's community centre, a focal point of the town and their youth-based programming. We're also invested in supporting Braddock Farms - a 10 acre urban farm which supplies vegetables to several local residents in Braddock. We are confident our contribution will help continue to inspire positive change and we hope it will help encourage others to look for ways to get involved in Braddock - and communities like Braddock around the country.