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Put your money where your marketing mouth is- levi’s

September 14, 2010

For a brand that was once recently found lurking in the bargain basement of fallen American icons, Levi’s is staging quite a turnaround. Maybe the original Walt Whitman stuff was a little heady for most, but the campaign has been re-tooled and seems to have a lot of momentum. If you add into the mix the interesting collaborations the brand’s engaged with, like Billy Reid and you’ve got the perfect conditions for a re-stage.

What hasn’t been talked about much is Levis’ efforts in the depressed town of Braddock. In this old industrial wasteland, Levi’s have poured some money in to make the town and its culture better. It’s a perfect gesture for a brand that’s all about “work” and “workers” that it finds a place where our very notion of work is being re-defined. It’s also brave to acknowledge the failings of the old US industrial system, the roots of Levi’s and to suggest there’s a future and importantly, hope that can rise from the ashes of what remains.

There’s a lesson here for all brands, maybe the economy has taken the edge of corporate responsibility and pushed it the back of the line, but there’s something noble about brands and companies like Levi’s and Pepsi that recognize there’s an inherent value in doing good. it’s needed now more than ever, it gives the company a higher purpose and makes those who work for the company directly and even those in-directly involved, feel much better about what they do.

While no public probably exists on this, but it probably makes people feel good about the brands that do these things.

What makes Pepsi and Levi’s stand out for me, is that aren’t shy about their efforts. They publicize them and develop interesting communication around them. When questioned, many companies might not have too much of a problem mentioning their CR efforts, but they often aren’t linked to their overall vision or communication.

Levi’s stands apart as one of one of the few brands where you can draw a nice clear line between what you see in their ads and the CR work in Braddock.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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