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October 24, 2013
The End of Levi's #GoForth?
 
There are very few advertising campaigns in our life that we have fallen for head over heels. If you have been reading our posts regularly, you would know that one of them includes the Old Spice commercials that are quite dear to our hearts. The ads were a wonderful concept, and captured the attention and admiration of nearly everyone. We can all recall that Old Spice was pressured to release the sales numbers on Old Spice to validate how well the ad engagement was realized in sales, but we do not recall if Old Spice gave an actual number or percentage. If we remember correctly, the brand said that there was an uptick, but not enough to warrant the cost associated with the campaign.

Our next favorite campaign was Levi's "Go Forth" campaign. When it started in 2009, it resonated with us for several reasons. First, the American people were looking for a source of hope. Second, with the nation being downtrodden, why not bring up a company that boomed during the rush west and the hunt for gold? The word "pioneers" came from those who were paving the way and braving unknown territory for the majority to follow. Its first commercial featuring Walt Whitman's poem "O Pioneers." How timely the ad was. It strived to capture the American "can-do" spirit, and tied the spirit to the denim those go-getters wore.

Interestingly enough, both campaigns were done with W+K. And this week it was announced that W+K and Levi's are parting ways.

According to both AdAge and AdWeek, the two are splitting on a mutual understanding. AdWeek reported that its inside sources say a difference in creative direction caused the split.

In either case, the Go Forth campaign was a piece of work. Below is the first ad that drew us in.


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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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