Back in the 80s, Levi’s was in trouble. They were looked at as a jean brand worn by “fuddy duddies”, aka, older dads. While they wanted the youth to choose their product, they were being overshadowed by the likes of GAP and Lee. So they needed to do something big and drastic.
Enter, Sir John Hegarty.
The man who gave millions around the world the perfect soundtrack to listen to while putting their jeans on. The slow, grungy and almost sexy tune that blew the world away and made the brand a cultural phenomenon, with youngsters all over the world swearing by Levi’s as their preferred jeans brand. So, what did they do right?
Here are 3 things
The 1980s witnessed a tectonic shift in global culture. It was the new era of reinventing music, films and ads, that completely broke away from tradition and societal norms. A legacy brand like Levi’s however, were seriously hit.
So, when Sir John Hegarty wrote the ad campaign for Laundrette, he used Marvin Gaye’s “Grapevine” as a tool to communicate the underlying message of the campaign. And why did it work? “It appealed to a whole new generation with a song that “spoke” to them. “Grapevine” was the first of four Levi’s-related songs to all make the Top Ten Billboard, a feat that made advertisers realise that choosing the right music was of paramount importance because it really helped push a product on TV”, said Sir John Hegarty.
The effects of the Levi’s 501 campaign was instant. Coupled with the beautiful Nick Kamen, the campaign’s hero, and the vibe of the song, the ad spoke to the new Gen-Y audience in an aspirational, cool and new way. “It was like magic that defined a generation,” said Sir John Hegarty. Even though the song was a Motown classic, it was re-energized to speak to a younger audience, which gave it a larger appeal
“For me it was about creating a sense of empowerment. Back then I was at the right age to know that buying a pair of jeans was expensive, but I also knew what it meant to buy it. It meant you were cool, original and one of those rebels . The attitude was original. So for me I wanted them to feel that it was accessible enough to buy at least one pair.”, said Sir John Hegarty. So, using the right sound was critical in achieving that.
Watch the entire episode with Sir John Hegarty where he reveals even more truths behind getting the right sound for your brand here: https://lnkd.in/dPsafyNC