Tag Archives: levi’s

Levi’s® Photography Search: A Case Study in using social media

I know y’ulle think I’m a brainless advertising chick who does nothing but upload hot pics of herself onto flickr and rub her breasts against her the glass of her creative director’s office, but it’s not completely true. They keep me around because every now and again, I prove to be quite useful. I wouldn’t go so far as to say:

“I’m the number 1 creative in South Africa,” like Paul Warner from Metropolitan Republic said in the March 09 issue of GQ (true story).

But I am handy because I know my way around facebook, an invaluable skill that has come in handy while we’ve been running a competition called The Search for the Levi’s® Photographer off onesmallseed.net, and it’s proved to be an insightful exercise in using social media to reach the right consumers.

The competition went live at the beginning of December 2008, and it was a call to South African photographers to come up with and submit their unique vision conveyed through a photographic treatment that would give the Levi Strauss brand a distinctive and relevant look. It came about because we were aware of the wealth of talent out there amongst local creatives, and we wanted to see whether we could discover someone fresh and inspiring to bring something special to the brand.

We got an amazing response – a total of 60 photographers shot and submitted images to be considered. We narrowed the entries down to a shortlist of 12 photographers, out of whom Capetonian Romi Stern was chosen as the winner.You can see the official winning announcement and the shortlisted photographers here.

The Search for the Levi’s® Photographer has been my (and King James’s) first big(ish) project using social media as the primary platform for communication and interaction with consumers, and it worked really well because onesmallseed.net is a creative community, therefore it was a natural place for us to reach photographers. We were able to interact with entrants and answer questions real-time, and tailor our interactions with them based on the feedback they gave us.

We did experience some glitches
– an auto-brief malfunction, and we completely underestimated the number of entries we’d get, so on the weekend of the competition deadline our mailbox was bouncing back entries and stressing out some very passionate photographers, but we managed to solve it in the end.

Needless to say, we are extremely chuffed with how it turned out, and we’re looking super forward to working with Romi this year.

Levi’s Live Unbuttoned Laser Graffiti videos

the event

the making of

secret Levi’s Laser Show & a free pair of 501s

so a really cool thing happened last night. the boyfriend and i had heard there would be some sort of ‘happening’ on the corner of Long Street and Wale Street (Cape Town) at 8pm. so we braved the cold to go check it out. upon arrival we saw a small crowd of people clustered on the street corner. we waited around for about 15 minutes and then a laser projection appeared on the side of one of the buildings. the projection was of a graffiti artist, who appeared out of nowhere and started spraypainting the wall. at first it looked realistic, then the lasers started making all sorts of interesting shapes and effects on the words, which read: “Live Unbuttoned.” periodically the guy would disappear and reappear, bouncing over geometric shapes and doing Parkour-type jumping off the walls and roof of the building. then he would start his graffiti over again.

in the beginning were the words. and the words were ‘Live Unbuttoned.’

the artist starts playing with lights.

things get a little more interesting on the laser front.

jumping over laser shapes.

laser squiggles

missioning around with his materials

and this is where it gets interesting. suddenly, he’s no longer painting, but he’s playing on his mobile phone. next thing a number appears on the projection, and a word to SMS to the number. so we all frantically SMS, and receive a text back instructing us to find the ‘Live Unbuttoned’ truck, which is apparently parked nearby. we spot it in seconds and run across the road and bang on the door. a young guy asks me to show him the text message, and next thing i have a brand new pair of 501s in my hand. fantastic!

if you want to get your hands on a free pair of 501s, i’ve heard that there will be more laser shows in and around Cape Town. And Levi’s, if you’re reading this, please tell me why you didn’t throw any girls jeans into the mix? Because as rad and as cool as this stunt was, i can’t wear a guy’s cut, which makes it a bit of a let-down. How about something for us ladies?

store cards: who’s getting it right

every time i open my wallet i get this sick feeling, probably not uncommon to many people since opening your wallet is synonymous with dishing out hard earned cash, but the reason for my mounting nausea is the fact that i have, oh, 6 billion store cards confronting me every time i want to do something simple, like get change for a card guard or pull out that worn fortune cookie with the lotto numbers on it.
the nausea reached fever pitch over the holidays, when i was doing a large amount of opening my wallet, and something inside me snapped. as a kind of consumer extraordinaire (truly, i sign up for everything i lay my eyes on partly because it’s my job and party because i’m curious that these brands may have something meaningful to offer me) i am exposed to vast amounts of brand propaganda, most of which i can say (with good authority) is a load of gunk. and i just kind of had enough.

even though there are benefits to buying with a store / loyalty card over cash, i can’t help but feel i’m being duped every single time, especially since i’m not really into buying when i can’t afford stuff (one of the perks of not being a ‘Black Diamond’, whatever that is anyway), which is precisely what a store card is designed to do. so i emptied my wallet onto the kitchen counter and stared at my plastic fairweather friends for a good long time before i decided to act on Oprah’s advice and ‘cut the bad people out of my life’.

as more and more marketers realise that niching is the way to go in terms of communication, store cards are one area where i just don’t think it works, because you take for granted the fact that the consumer actually wants to remember what benefit you’re delivering. while staring at the cards i’d accumulated, i couldn’t think of a single benefit meaningful enough to stop me cutting up the cards.

discount movies? i don’t watch enough movies at the cinema to care. my movies come to me through the internet, through friends, through registered mail from the UK since i can’t be bothered to wait a whole year to watch what i want to watch.

the ability to return goods for cash? okay this one works. the woolworths card made it out whole.

points that contribute to flights? um, no thanks. i don’t desperately need to fly anywhere. plus you have to use this particular card as your everyday card in order for this to truly pay off. plus there’s a limit to how many points you can earn anyway, so that card got the chop.

being able to buy fast moving consumer goods (ie. crap) at particular stores on credit? i already have a credit card, a bank based one, which is admin enough to manage anyway so you’ll forgive me for seeing superfluous credit the same way i see men who flirt with you while you’re in a relationship, ie. it’s fun but essentially useless and a waste of time. oooh, 6 months interest free? okay, that’s a bonus. but again, if it’s taking me 6 months to pay off any kind of credit i’d say it’s time to think about your life, because unless you’re paying off some kind of emergency, you’re probably living in denial.

my exclusive books fanatics card made it through, because i buy on average 6 books a month and always get some sort of decent return. my vide e loyalty card got scrapped though, since i spend enough money there to have shares in the company and in my entire 2 years of having the card i have quite possibly only ever received one free coffee. and as for my levi’s card…i’ve just got some old post and it seems the card scheme closed in September 07. guess it didn’t really take off.

anyway, after having made a flower sculpture out of all the excess cards, i strolled into kenilworth medi clinic for a routine doctor’s appointment and saw this:

edcongroupcards

paying your medical bills with a shoe store card? talk about an incentive. big up to Edcon, who realise that if there’s one thing their consumers are likely to need on credit it’s medicine, since 2 out of every 3 people in this country is HIV positive.