A lot of companies struggle to stay relevant and advertise to an ever-changing (AKA fickle) buying culture. With the stakes so high nowadays, and with internet trends changing by the minute, it can be a bewildering task. A daunting (not to mention expensive!) undertaking. That is why many hire fancy ad agencies to help them elevate their brand. They pay top dollar for multi-faceted marketing campaigns (both traditional and digital). They try to stay “top of mind” and on the top of the charts. How does a brand’s voice speak above the general noise of chaos of today’s marketing mayhem. How does a brand stay relevant, and what does that even mean anyway?
Levi Strauss & Co. started manufacturing jeans in 1873.
Let that sink in a moment. Doing the math, that’s 140 years ago (What is that in fashion years???) That’s a long time to be in business, to be making a tried and true product. Think about how many changes, generations, revolutions and recessions that Levi’s has weathered! They’ve lived through it and seen it all, just like a tough pair of blue jeans. They might be faded and frayed, but boy, are they familiar, comfortable and trusty!
1873. Jeans during this time were commonly worn by cowboys, lumberjacks, and railroad workers. The working people of the western United States. They went on to become popular among a wide range of youth subcultures, including greasers, mods, rockers, hippies and skinheads. Today jeans are everywhere. 97.333% of people wear jeans everyday. Ok, so I made that statistic up. But not these: Consumers in the United States buy approximately 450 million pairs of jeans every year. On average, consumers have seven pairs of jeans in their wardrobe.
But going back to advertising. How should Levi Strauss & Co – an established, celebrated and legendary company – advertise in 2013? Well, I personally don’t think that they need to use any of the tired marketing tricks and gimmicks. They don’t need to be clever or trendy. They don’t need to push sex appeal. The don’t need humor or shock value.
How about this for an ad: A pair of blue jeans on a white background, with the headline, “Levis. We Invented Blue Jeans. You’re Welcome.”
I think the general public and culture-at-large awes them a big THANK YOU. Don’t be carried away by the trendy, flavor-of-the-day blue jeans manufacturer. They might not be around tomorrow. But I have a feeling that Levi’s will. Here’s to the next 140 years.