While it may not be revolutionary, Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign has taken up a storytelling-as-advertising approach that is, while perhaps not conceived and executed as well as it could be, a cut above many other foot draggers.
The new push investigates the story of Braddock, PA, a small town that’s been trying to get back on its feet. “We are all workers,” the jeans maker claims. It’s brand-backed journalism, laid out in episodes, presented — not peddled — by Levi’s.
As Kirk Cheyfitz explains in a Huff Post piece on the campaign, the name of the game is now content marketing — creative investment in new and original stories and tales that live on and linger long after the spend is over. He’s not convinced many are practicing what they’ve begun to preach:
Lots of big brands, traditional advertising agencies and digital agencies have been throwing around the word “storytelling” lately to describe what they do. I regard such pronouncements with the same skepticism the religious reserve for deathbed conversions: in a fearful moment, the converted are saying what they feel they must, even if they don’t really understand what it is.
Kirk outlined several missteps the brand has taken and fallacies they’ve failed to consider, but still uses it a provocative counter-point to the Old Spice video response campaign (read our take on it here) — of which Kirk claims is “really nothing more than well executed traditional TV ads.”
Levi’s efforts can’t yet be considered a success, but do mark a strong push towards a narrative, content-focused approach; with engaging, current and original stories — not brands and their products— taking center-stage.