Levi’s Lets Public Create TV Spots

NEW YORK Levi’s is launching a viral campaign starring … you.

Using imaging technology created by Personiva in San Francisco, users can upload their headshots and then receive a copy of a Levi’s commercial featuring themselves in the lead role of a daring jeans thief.

The interactive effort plays off a popular TV spot, “News Story,” that broke nationwide in July [Adweek Online, July 5].

Levi’s foray into interactive brand building is designed to boost overall impressions via e-mail, instant messages, blogs and video sites, as users share their personalized commercials.

In order to meet that goal, the 153-year-old brand chose online media as the best means of reaching a younger demographic “in a fun and engaging way,” said Amy Jasmer, a Levi’s representative.

Alex Lubar, account manager at Levis’s agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, drew a link between “the innate bond that an individual has with [their apparel choices]” and the interactive platform “which allows the consumer to bond with the ad itself.” BBH, which is partly owned by Publicis Groupe, created the original 30- and 60-second “News Story” spots.

Participants whose personalized ads receive three unique viewings get an e-mail coupon for free shipping on orders above $75.

“Encouraging brand evangelists to share automatically customized branded entertainment through personal networks absolutely capitalizes on the Andy Warhol notion of 15 minutes of fame,” said Personiva CEO Yogesh Sharma.

Earlier this month, Personiva created a personalized online component for Hewlett-Packard’s “The computer is personal again” campaign. Levi’s is the second global marketer to enlist the three-year-old company’s platform. Next up is Warner Bros., whose early September rollout invites users to appear alongside Looney Toons characters in home movies.

Personiva’s proprietary metrics track how many ads were created, shared and viewed, and for how long.