Levi’s Global Campaign Gives the Floor to Next Generation of Change Makers

The ad comes from new CMO Kenny Mitchell and agency TBWA\Chiat\Day

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With its new global campaign, Levi’s reminds consumers of its heritage as a democratic brand that has been at the forefront of progressive, fashion and cultural movements over its 170-year history. 

In “The Floor Is Yours,” from new agency partner TBWA\Chiat\Day, a young woman and her friends lounge in a room until she sees a dance performance on television. The sight of the dancers jolts her from her seat and inspires her to literally move the floor and the room (with the help of slick VFX). She leads her own dance routine, galvanizing her friends to join her.

The moment comes full circle when another woman sees the group dancing on TV and continues the cycle of progress.  

A diverse creative team is behind the ad. Music video director Omar Jones directed it, while the song is a new track by super producer Kaytranada from his upcoming album.

Sherrie Silver, who worked with Lady Gaga and with Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) on his lauded “This Is America” video, choreographed the performances. Stylist Bee Diamondhead created the garments worn by the dancers. 

TBWA\Chiat\Day CEO Erin Riley told ADWEEK that the decision to work with diverse creators was “very intentional,” as they also reflect the brand’s values. 

“Few brands are so true to themselves, but so relevant to so many people,” said Riley. “Having diverse creative partners was hugely important. The level of craft in this spot was something we felt really strongly about, given the level of craft in the product itself.”  

The ad’s movement symbolizes both the progressive thinking of Levi’s fanbase, as well as the brand’s own history of activism.  

It’s in the jeans 

The campaign comes after Levi Strauss & Co. underwent recent leadership changes. Former Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass succeeded Chip Bergh as president and CEO of the company in January. Meanwhile, former Snap Inc. chief marketing officer Kenny Mitchell joined Levi’s as senior vice president and CMO. 

And last September, the brand hired TBWA\Chiat\Day as its agency partner.

The global campaign will run across broadcast, streaming, digital, social and out-of-home in markets including Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America.

The brand also launched a casting call for fans to submit videos on social media using the film’s song and choreography. Levi’s will select participants for a longer-form music video for the Kaytranada track.

“We’re inviting fans around the world to move and to act, because part of our behavior is to celebrate progress and also inspire and invite folks to be doers and to move,” said Mitchell. 

On the campaign’s progressive messaging, Mitchell noted that the brand has been an “unofficial uniform for progress,” pointing to its roots in the industrial revolution, when miners and other workers wore the denim. Levi’s denim was also worn during cultural moments such as Woodstock, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Steve Jobs’ introduction of the first iPod, Beyoncé’s historic “Homecoming” Coachella performance and by iconic artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

Following its history in subcultures, the brand will partner with London-based music platform Boiler Room for upcoming activations in London and New York. 

“Levi’s is such a democratic brand that it is not surprising to see us on an A-list superstar, as it is to see it on someone deep in the subculture,” Mitchell said. “We’re giving [fans] an invitation to take to the floor and answer this call.”

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