This is inspiring. Watch this.

22 Oct

This is part of Levi’s new heritage campaign made by Wieden and Kennedy Portland. More than a campaign, this is an amazing documentation about life in many parts of the country. W+K plays off the concept that the people in Braddock, Pennsylvania.  are similar to the pioneers of Levi’s in the 1800’s. This is a part of the ‘Go Forth’ campaign.

Last year, the ads depicted 20-somethings running around with Walt Whitman poetry narrating the scene (Shown above). Personally, I don’t think that campaign embodied the American drive and spirit that it aspired to. These ads were very harshly reviewed by the advertising community as missing the mark. Although they are beautifully directed and well-produced, it does not portray a ‘go forth, american’ message. That being said, I think this year is a whole different ball game. All filming is being done in Braddock, Pennsylvania, giving proceeds to the community and trying to build back the economy.

The campaign is using all residents of Braddock, telling their story or work in a poor economy. The print ads have tag lines such as “Ready to work”, Everybody’s work is equally important”, and “We all are workers”. Levi’s and W+K both address the lack of reality that last year’s Whitman campaign had, and attempted to capture a genuine sense of optimism contrasting with a somewhat grim reality.

“We wanted to engage consumers in a conversation about real work,” said Doug Sweeny, vice president for Levi’s brand marketing for the Americas at Levi Strauss in San Francisco.

“We wanted to show people who were really doing the work, the hard work, to rebuild after the recession,” he added, and it is serendipitous that “they need a good, sturdy pair of jeans or a trucker jacket to get down to work,” said Tyler Whisnand, co-creative director for Levi’s at W+K.

Mayor of Braddock praises both W+K and Levi’s for not rolling in with fancy equipment and free merchandise, but came with a purpose and sincerity. I love this. More advertising should do this. Rather than make New York look like a rural location, go to the rural location and help the community.

Visit If We Ran the World to find out what has been done at Braddock, Pennsylvania because of these efforts.

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