I’m simply fascinated by the latest Levi’s marketing work and recently stumbled (or so I think) on their mini-docu-series, advert, whatever, for Braddock, PA on IFC. Levi’s has opted to hitch their brand onto a dying town and dig into its trashy, worn authenticity to gain brand value.
I love it. Levi’s is providing the town (near 15% unemployment) with a million bucks and a “Ready to Work” ad campaign hoping to turn the town around. It’s the perfect commercial set featuring real, built-in tragedy with a positive spin.
I don’t know whether the brand is doing something amazing for the town or vice versa. Maybe by bringing awareness in a warped Michael Moore-ish way, and raising a blue-collar brand flag at the same time, Levi’s is serving everyone involved. Or maybe using the “ready to work” message of the town’s unemployed to sell clothing is really just brand exploitation. What I do know is that this gritty, dark and dreary effort fits perfectly with the down-to-earth, in-the-earth (as in death, like the Burroughs sounding voice-over in recent campaigns) mentality of the current Levi’s brand re-do.