Why Levis wants you to Go Forth?

Go Forth. Two words. See an actionable there? Levis has gone ahead and strung youth across the world to get on with it and simply go ahead with their global marketing campaign. It implicates change, being audacious, taking chances and believing in the self more than anyone else. 
The series of campaigns started in 2009 just after the downturn had made it evident that bearish times are here to stay. Evidently, brands tend to dabble in strategic brand building tactics. Cause, really the investments done in strategic campaigns tend to pay off well as times get better. As any marketer would know advertising always does have an impact on sales. Albeit marginal, if ever. The result of Levis campaign? A rise in 9% of it sales. However I feel that the Go Forth campaign has more about building connect and making the brand more relevant in changing times. Brilliantly executed by Wieden + Kennedy (Yes, the same guys who did Nike’s campaigns too), the series touches levels of taking responsibility, charge and acting upon ones convictions.

Click here for Latest Ad from the Go Forth Campaign 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsP6XTHBwRw
In advertising and promotions, you can have a Pull/Push strategy. Levis chose the Pull strategy. In terms of the objective of this campaign its evident that it aims to:
1. To prompt action: The very name of the campaign urges the viewer to go forth with images where the camera is panning out with shots of the ocean/youngsters running on the street/view of the sky.
2. To reinforce attitudes: Recovery was the key word in 2009. The first ad reinforced the America that people knew of. The second video was clearly titled ‘To Work’. Underlying message being that yes, good times will come but we should be willing to work (talk of unemployment figures?) which was followed by the Pioneers ad.

Clearly, the message to take away was clear. With words from speeches or poems by Walt Whitman the copy was simple, direct and powerful. Always looking forward, never backward (As I also firmly believe in this). Does the strategy work? Let’s put in one my favorite models to test.
The FCB model is a grid to simply put across the best advertising strategy to adopt depending on the type of product, the level of involvement and attitude towards the same. Not dwelling much on the grid, I feel this falls within the Affective Strategy block. A pair of jeans for most people is a high involvement product. A bunch of kids are most likely to visit a store, look across at the big displays, try a number of variants and then zero in on their buy. Some being extremely brand loyal will choose to forsake a purchase till stocks return. Evidently this also scores high on the feeling aspect. What I wear reflects how I am, what I choose to be perceived as. So yes, its important to look for what I buy and wear.
This is exactly targeted in the affective strategy which works on High involvement and High on Feeling products. The best appeal to use in this case is the emotional appeal. To understand and replicate the underlying attitude with seamless integration with the communication strategy. This is precisely what Levis tells you in its latest Go Forth Ad. With a strong voiceover that tells you you’re gonna be great, your find a cure, you’re gonna be famous, be shameless, be spitting seeds in the wind. They tell you its not too bad to be standing alone in a sell out stadium trying to convey your ideas. You follow your heart, follow the leader and then you are the leader. Powering up and propelling the user to keep moving forward, despite any thing else. The Ad is executed well, with crisp copy and ordinary people to make believe. Go on, Go Forth.
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
– William Blake (Auguries of Innocence)

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