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Who will take on the Levi’s challenge after W+K split?

Unknown-10Levi’s isn’t an easy one, iconic brand though it may be.

So it’s not that much of a surprise that it has split with its global agency Wieden+Kennedy, particularly as the move follows the departure of marketing boss Rebecca Van Dyck to Facebook. For Van Dyck W+K Portland produced its Americana ‘Go Forth’ campaign, a series of depressing tales about depressed America. You were supposed to feel uplifted buy this combo of resilience and traditional values but, unlike the agency’s work for Chrysler, you didn’t.

Levi’s is indeed haunted by its past, first as American work clothes then the teen uniform from the 1950s through the ’70s. Now, of course, the jeans market has changed completely with the likes of Diesel taking the middle to high ground. Levi’s, in the midst of all this, looks decidedly middle-aged, as most of its customers appear to be.

Prior to moving to W+K Levi’s had a long stint at BBH, which produced some outstanding advertising. Here’s W+K followed by BBH:

Which doesn’t actually prove a lot; maybe just that two powerful corporate imaginations still struggled a bit with Levi’s.

So it’s a challenge for whoever the new agency is, especially as Levi’s doesn’t spend that much (Ad Age reckons it’s only about $40m in the US). When you’ve worked your way through BBH and W+K the logical next step would appear to be Droga5 although there are other contenders of course. Maybe new global CMO Jennifer Sey will go for a big network.

‘Team Blue Jeans’ at WPP? Surely not…

 

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Stephen…
    Ah, yes indeed, “Team Levis” from the Poisoned Dwarf. I can see it now… Better yet, as I say on AdScam, They will probably hire Miley Cyrus for fucking millions as “Brand Ambassador Tweaking Creative Director.” Never forget… I am never wrong.
    Cheers/George

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