Levi’s Tries Clickable Web Video Ads

NEW YORK Levi’s has launched a Web ad campaign for a new line of jeans that will allow users to interact within video streams for more information.

One banner ad unit for the Levi’s Redwire DLX shows a jeans-clad woman initially appearing still, as if it is a static run-of-the-mill skyscraper ad. She then begins to dance within the banner. Users can expand the unit and roll over the video to see more information about special features of the jeans, which come with pockets designed for carrying iPods.

Avenue A/Razorfish, part of aQuantive, created the ads, which mark the first time Levi’s has shot video specifically for Web ads.

An ad for the Levi’s Fit Skinny jeans shows a woman getting ready to go out, as if checking her outfit in the mirror. She leaves the unit and returns, which gives the impression the viewer is seeing her through the mirror.

The first executions of the push have begun running, and more will be rolled out this fall, the company said. It has run spots before video clips, known as pre-roll ads, but they have been repurposed TV commercials. Unlike pre-roll spots, in-page units can include interaction capabilities.

“We wanted to give ourselves more options,” said Patrice Varni, Levi’s director of Internet and consumer marketing, about the in-page units. “Pre-roll is not the only way for leveraging video.”

The ads will run throughout the year on sites like MSN, Yahoo, MaximOnline.com, RollingStone.com and MySpace

The executions do not play sound, an attempt to make the ads less disruptive to the user erience, said Rob Toledo, account director at Avenue A/Razorfish. The hot-spotting technology, he added, is helpful in explaining what makes the Redwire jeans unique.

“We felt it wasn’t simply a pair of jeans but a product concept,” he said. “It helps consumers understand what the benefits are.”

Varni said the campaign is part of Levi’s increased attention to the online channel. By next year, she expects the company’s Web marketing spending will double, driven in part by Levi’s opening its first online store last year.

“We are shifting [ad spending] from TV and print to things like online engagement marketing, like events,” she said.

Avenue A/Razorfish handles both creative and media for Levi’s.

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