The Levi's "Go Forth" Advertising Campaign
Levi Strauss has launched a new advertising campaign, “Go Forth”, presenting an optimistic tone in a time of pessimism in the United States. The online (goforth.levi.com), print and television elements borrow words and concepts from American poet Walt Whitman to establish a pioneering tone for the “New Americans”.
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 Press Release
The Levi's(R) Brand Announces the Launch of 'Go Forth' - A New, Thought-Provoking Brand Campaign
The new partnership between the Levi's(R) brand and Wieden+Kennedy Portland comes to fruition with provocative 360 degree campaign
SAN FRANCISCO, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Levi's(R) brand announced today the launch of "Go Forth," the highly anticipated brand campaign conceptualized in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy Portland (W+K). "Go Forth" - a campaign rooted in America's raw, pioneering spirit - is the first work born out of the relationship between W+K and the Levi's(R) brand.
The campaign positions the Levi's(R) brand as the brand for pioneers who are in the process of building a new America. Their youthful optimism and pioneering energy are at the core of Levi's(R) DNA and this overarching theme has been woven into every component of the "Go Forth" campaign. Everything you see, from a cinema spot to a banner ad, is full of energy, vibrancy and provocation - created with a sense of movement, freedom and optimism in mind. "Go Forth" reminds consumers that Levi's(R) jeans are the jean of self-reliance, hard work, and an independent, hopeful spirit.
"'Go Forth' is more than a campaign, it is a north star for the brand. The campaign takes the raw, tough, and eternally optimistic spirit that made the Levi's(R) brand great and brings it to life as a clarion call for this generation," said Doug Sweeny, Vice President of Levi's(R) brand marketing.
"Levi's(R) has a rich history, steeped in American ingenuity and bravery. We wanted this campaign to pay homage to that heritage, but also to refresh and reinvent the idea of a pioneering spirit for the times in which we live," said Susan Hoffman, Executive Creative Director of W+K.
In celebration of the first true pioneers of our country, Levi's(R) "Go Forth" campaign launches on July 4, 2009. The "Go Forth" mantra will stretch across all key touch points for the brand, from product innovation and retail experience to more traditional advertising outlets such as TV, cinema, print, OOH and digital. Campaign elements will reach across North America from the top of Canada to the bottom of Chile.
Two provocative TV and cinema spots are at the forefront of the "Go Forth" campaign launch. The spots feature the idealistic spirit and celebrated works of the great American poet Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman was intoxicated with America and with its unlimited possibilities. Like the Levi's(R) brand, Walt Whitman stands for the democratic power of real people - the self-reliant young men and women who make this country a better place.
"Walt Whitman's best writing always sought ways to face the adversity, bad times, and suffering around him and to find hope in the future," said Ed Folsom, Co-Director of the Walt Whitman Archive and preeminent Walt Whitman expert. "Whitman celebrated a desire for a future built on equality and freedom, a future where America's daughters were equal with America's sons, where the nation's laws would be consonant with the democratic laws of nature, where freedom and love were protected by America's laws."
The first ad, entitled "America," is set to what experts believe is Walt Whitman's original recording of his poem "America." It features diverse images of American landscapes and poignant portraits of the people who make this country what it is. The message is one of self-reliance, resilience, encouragement and hope. The second spot, "O Pioneer!" set to air later in the campaign, is a closer look at the pioneering youth culture of America.
The spots were directed by two renowned, up-and-coming young directors - Cary Fukunaga ("America") and M Blash ("O Pioneer!"). Fukunaga recently exploded into the spotlight at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival where he picked up prizes for best direction and cinematography for his film "Sin Nombre." "America" is Fukunaga's first foray into advertising work and will air in the United States beginning in early July on cinema screens across the country. Later this fall, both "America" and "O Pioneer!" will also launch on prime time TV and cable networks.
The bold and colorful "Go Forth" print and outdoor campaign was shot by acclaimed photographer Ryan McGinley. The imagery captures a sense of youthful optimism and hopefulness for a better tomorrow. McGinley's work features active imagery of "Go Forthers" deeply engaged in sweeping nature scenes. Taglines such as "strike up for the new world," "this country was not built by men in suits" and "will work for better times" serve as an invitation to join in the quest for a new and better world.
The print campaign begins in July in publications ranging from sports, fashion, music and culture that target a young male demographic. Outdoor will run beginning in July in key youth markets including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
"Go Forth Expeditions," an interactive digital program, also launches in early July and invites people across the country to participate in the "Go Forth" movement. In the spirit of the campaign, these expeditions will be a call to the masses to see the world differently, explore the energy of their America and pioneer in their thoughts and action. Additional details about "Go Forth Expeditions" will be announced later this month.
In the spirit of "Go Forth," the Levi's(R) brand will continue its fervent support of pioneering events like AIDS Walk and World AIDS Day as well as organizations that are engaged in the fight against AIDS. The Levi's(R) brand will always be a champion for those who choose to "Go Forth" in whatever they do.
About Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world's largest branded apparel companies and the global leader in jeanswear, marketing its products in more than 110 countries worldwide. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's(R), Dockers(R) San Francisco and Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.(TM) brands. Levi Strauss & Co. reported fiscal 2008 net revenues of $4.4 billion. For more information, go to http://levistrauss.com.
The Levi's(R) brand epitomizes classic American style and effortless cool. Since their invention by Levi Strauss in 1873, Levi's(R) jeans have become the most recognizable and imitated clothing in the world - capturing the imagination and loyalty of people for generations. Today, the Levi's(R) brand portfolio continues to evolve through a relentless pioneering and innovative spirit that is unparalleled in the apparel industry. Our range of leading jeanswear and accessories are available in more than 110 countries, allowing individuals around the world to express their personal style. For more information about the Levi's(R) brand, its products and stores, please visit http://levi.com.
Wieden+Kennedy, founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1982, is an independent, privately held international advertising agency with offices in Amsterdam, Delhi, London, New York, Portland, Shanghai and Tokyo. A full-service, creatively led communications company, Wieden+Kennedy has helped build some of the strongest global brands, including Nike, ESPN, Honda, Levi's, Electronic Arts, P&G and Coca-Cola.
SOURCE Wieden & Kennedy; Levi Strauss & Co.
The America ad was developed at Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, by executive creative directors Mark Fitzloff and Susan Hoffman, creative directors Danielle Flagg and Tyler Whisnand, copywriters Julia Oh and Rudy Adler, agency executive producer Ben Grylewicz, agency producer Jeff Selis and agency associate producer Juliana Montgomery.
Filming was shot by director Cary Fukunaga via Anonymous Content, Los Angeles, with director of photography Darren Lew, executive producer Danielle Peretz and line producer Joe Mandarino.
Editor was Elliot Graham at Joint Editorial with assistant editor Jessica Baclesse, post producer Neil Kopp and post executive producer Patty Brebner.
The “America” poem by Walt Whitman was provided courtesy the Walt Whitman Archive.
Music is “The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead (Many Ives Version)”, composed by Owen Pallett and Charles Ives, and performed by Final Fantasy on their album Many Lives 49 MP, Third Side Music.
Sound was mixed by Jeff Payne at Eleven Sound with producer Kristin Felt and assistant mixer Ben Freer.
Photographer was Ryan McGinlay, who also photographed the award-winning Wrangler campaign from France.
According to ARGN, Jan Libby (Sammeeeees, lonelygirl15) "is working with Wieden+Kennedy and Levi’s to bring the Go Fourth Fortune Experience to life."