Perhaps as the remedy to their somewhat misunderstood first “Go Forth” campaign, Levi’s is trying a new tactic: Instead of highlighting the free-spirited youngsters of today, they will be focusing in on the working class of Braddock PA. Their new ads (which will still be part of the “Go Forth” legacy), will be filmed and photographed entirely in the hamlet, a low to medium income town located in the heartland of Rust Belt America. The town’s name may seem familiar- last year it attracted national news coverage when its mayor, John Fetterman, brought forth tremendous efforts to help get the town back on its feet after years of economic decline. To show that they mean business, Levi’s will be running ads and billboards with timely inspirational sayings like “Ready to work,” “Everybody’s work is equally important” and “We are all workers.”
When asked about the intentions of the new campaign, Doug Sweeny (vice president for Levi’s brand marketing for the Americas at Levi Strauss in San Francisco) states “We wanted to engage consumers in a conversation about real work”. But just how does the brand plan to deliver on its message? To start with, they are donating more than a million dollars to assist the town with renovating a community center, as well as other planned initiatives which require grit, sweat, and more than a few nights of overtime. To bring attention to their efforts, footage from the town’s renewal will be featured in an hour long show sponsored by Levi’s to appear online and on the IFC and Sundance cable channels.
Will Levi’s generous donation and international attention really help the people of Braddock, PA? No one can say that for sure, but for all the talk about revitalizing America, Levi’s may be one of the few companies out there really “making a difference”. On the way, they may even end up doing more for the town than several presidents and good intentions have been able to accomplish for decades.