Levi’s 501 Jeans wanted to do something special for their 140th anniversary. These original jeans from Levi’s have a rich heritage and has been popular for over a century in all sorts of contexts. But the experience is different for each and every one of us. “Everybody has a different relationship with the 501 and they all tell a great story,” said Julia Bois, Global Digital Marketing Manager at Levi’s. To bring these stories and the legacy of the 501 Jeans into the lives of new generation, Levi’s and their agency Wunderman developed the 501 campaign. “Younger generations know, of course, about the 501,” explained Bois. “But they don’t have quite the same personal connection to it.” To find out what that connection was for all kinds of people, Levi’s started a campaign: Levi’s #501.
Levi’s invited fans from around the world to use the social media hashtag #501 to share original photos that captured their interpretations of 501 Jeans. These could be photos of themselves wearing the jeans or even artistic expressions of the 501. The most common social media sites that were used for this campaign were Twitter and Instagram. All these pictures are collected by Levi’s and displayed on their website. 501 of these will be shown in the limited edition ‘Levi’s 501 Interpretations‘. All proceeds of this book will go to a charity chosen by Levi’s. So Millennials do not only have the opportunity to be a part of their favorite clothing brand, they have the chance to be published in a book for charity. What’s not to like about that?
The campaign was run in 7 international markets, while using the local market’s language. During the 4 months, Levi’s received over 30 000 submissions which were shared on their website. They were able to connect and engage with their fans worldwide. This input from fans is much in line with Levi’s tradition of fostering personal forms of expression. “Now, more than ever, people are expressing themselves—sharing their personal experiences and relationships with the things they love,” said Bois. “So it’s important for us to offer people opportunities and a forum to do that.” At Levi’s they understand it’s not about talking to the fans, but really about engaging them and talking with them in actual conversations.
Not only did this campaign result in higher sales, but they also managed to create a personal connection to their fans. Especially people from Gen Y who are really busy with Social media. This will be a relationship for that will last for years to come, and it is only the beginning. According to Bois, there’s a lot more to come. So we can expect some more things like the 501 Showcase in the future that will drive consumers to have a closer relationship and stronger loyalty to the Levi’s brand.
Levi’s created this unique campaign to connect to Millennials in a cool way by using social media. They engaged this generation by using visual content they made themselves and giving them the chance to contribute to something bigger. Getting your photo on the website of a famous brand is just an extra. But getting your photo in the limited 501 book to raise money for charity is their biggest motivation to join the #501 movement.