The Levi’s® Music Project acts as a key pillar for the ambitious growth of the brand. With big targets set at +10% YoY, we had to do something that went beyond just ‘advertising’ and create a campaign that put Levi’s at the centre of British culture.
In the 90’s, Levi’s were one of the hottest brands on the planet, where young people would wait expectantly for the next piece of iconic advertising. From laundrettes to creeks, their marketing could put bands at number one in the chart and sell a whole pile of denim.
Fast forward 20 years and the world of denim is a very different place; the number of brands has exploded, and Levi’s have been caught in the middle between the low cost, fast fashion of the high street, and the proliferation of designer names in high-end boutiques.
Our challenge was to drive the desirability of Levi’s amongst British youth once more, by placing them firmly back at the heart of British culture.
It’s no secret that young people love music. Over 55% of Levi’s customers listen to their favourite tunes online and Levi’s has a long-nurtured association with the music industry. But we needed a new way to leverage the brand’s connection.
We uncovered a worrying, long-term trend of massive budget cuts to arts funding; music education, facilities, and live music venues have all been the victims of this cash squeeze. In the UK alone, over 50% of all music venues have closed in the last 10 years. This was having devastating consequences for young people in their local communities.
There lay our opportunity – for Levi’s to make a difference in this long-neglected space, and reassert itself as a brand for them.
This Levi’s® Music Project seeks to inspire and empower the next generation
of artists, musicians and community leaders by:
• Providing access to new music education and technology resources
• Inspiring young people through music education, mentorship or leadership
• Putting music and technology at the centre of the experience
Music brand activations is an incredibly cluttered space, so we had to create an idea that spoke to the purpose of the Levi’s® Music Project and work with a partner who had an authentic voice with young British people. Enter Boiler Room - an online music publisher focusing on underground youth cultures.
Our strategy was simple:
- Create an authentic and meaningful activation that could live beyond the campaign period - leaving a long-term legacy for the young people of each city
- Tell the story of the launch to inspire beyond those able to attend the experience.
With over half of Levi’s® audience living outside of London, we looked to the UK’s second cities – Birmingham and Manchester as they had been hit especially hard by arts funding cuts in recent years.
We funded and totally refurbed a music studio in each city to create a space for communities to develop their musical aspirations.
To announce the opening of the studios, we recruited 24 local students with raw musical talent to take part in a 2-week music acceleration programme in these new spaces, culminating in a one-off showcase performance in each city.
As part of the partnership, we sourced award-winning artists - Everything Everything (Manchester) and Mist (Birmingham) - to deliver hands-on mentoring to the students.
To take our message and cause to the masses, we created a series of videos that told the story of the project.
These pieces of content aimed to educate about the cultural issues we were looking to change (the ever decreasing access to music for young people) while also inspiring others to get involved.
We promoted the content on Social platforms to give young people the opportunity to see and share our story. Digital video platforms delivered our content in relevant context.
Our campaign reached 84% of 18-34 adults. This huge reach was achieved by using Social analytics to understand how our content was being engaged with to then create a real-time audience segmentation, allowing us to continually identify and create new audience segments to deliver our message to.