Skip to main content

Levi’s embraces social marketing


Levi’s is coming on strong when it comes to Web 2.0 networking. The San Francisco-based specialty retailer is a fixture on such communities as Facebook and Twitter, and is even in the process of hiring a social media coordinator to manage all of its social-media initiatives. (He or she will be in charge of Facebook page management, sending out Twitter “tweets” and moderating social-networking campaigns.)

Social marketing became an integral part of Levi’s overall marketing strategy last year, on the heels of a successful online campaign. Inspired by the designers it met when it sponsored an episode of the popular reality fashion design-competition show “Project Runway” last season, Levi’s launched an online community site in 2008 dedicated to inspiring and rewarding other fashion design fans.

Called Project 501, Levi’s online community encouraged aspiring designers to showcase their talent. The community made its name known in the social-networking world by introducing a five-week online fashion design contest that ran from Jan. 23, 2008 to March 5, 2008. The network also featured a forum for fans to rate, vote and comment on design entries. Seattle-based interactive digital agency Razorfish created the site.

Levi’s encouraged consumers to submit their designs, while the community would vote on the top design. The winning design was produced and sold by Levi’s exclusively on its site during the fall 2008 season.

The site received more than 133,00 unique visitors during the five week period, and more than 3,000 designs were submitted. About 66% of registrants were women, while approximately 34% of these women were between the ages of 18 and 24.

“We hoped to not only reach our target -- young fashion-minded women -- but to give them a platform to engage with the brand,” said Megan O’Connor, director of digital marketing at Levi's.

As for the winning design, Levi’s sold the product in limited quantity, which sold out very quickly.

“It was a huge success,” O’Connor said. “Levi’s respects its fans’ fashion sense and wanted their input to create new products moving forward.”

Although the community is no longer active, Levi’s and Razorfish are already working together on another integrated social campaign to its target young audience. It is due to launch this fall.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds