There is an overt, beautiful irony permeating from Levi’s new ad campaign entitled “Go Forth”. The commercial is a series of powerful video clips depicting beautiful young people immersed in different aspects of a counter-culture lifestyle. The actors appear to be taking charge of their lives and freeing themselves from the bonds of mainstream society. They are concert-goers, musicians, free spirits, empowered individuals looking to take down the establishment all while wearing the latest pair of Levi jeans.
To help add to the revolutionary and liberating tone of the ad Levi’s invokes the words of Charles Bukowski’s poem “Go Forth.” For those of who may have skipped one too many English classes Bukowski was a poet known for his love of booze, women and gambling as well as his disgust with authority and Capitalism. If he was still living I wonder if Bukowski would have allowed his art to be marginalized and used to forward the motives of a large corporation.
Regardless of motivation, I felt that Levi is successful in branding itself as an alternative company looking to resonate with a younger audience who may feel alienated from typical American society. Levi’s does a great job appealing to market that theoretically should want nothing to do with material wealth or care about outward appearances. In this juxtaposition, Levi’s is able to make the customer feel liberated and independent while actually being yet another easily influenced consumer following the trends of the masses.
To help add to it’s credibility as the jean for the “radical” college student the company has established a Go Forth website dedicated to promoting different humanitarian initiatives. The website is successful in building credibility and depicts Levi’s as sympathetic and progressive brand looking to change the world for the better.
Overall the Levi’s does a marvelous job tapping into the historically fickle 18-25 market in a way that allows young people to feel empowered but still comfortable enough that they won’t disrupt the whole purpose of the campaign which is to sell that young revolutionary a pair of $70.00 jeans.