Go Forth: Levi’s Charge to a New Generation

Levi Strauss has introduced a new ad in its “Go Forth” campaign, and it’s getting mixed reviews. Informed by worldwide research that shows the youth of today believe it is up to them to make a positive difference in the world, this ad is designed to appeal to young idealists, but for many, it falls short.

Critics point out that jeans have absolutely no power to motivate people or change anything at all. They’re fabric and thread. And that’s all. As an editor for Adweek puts it:

Are you a young worker stuck in a dead-end job (or lacking one entirely) in an impossible job market in a horrible economy? Don’t worry. Throw on a pair of Levi’s, and you’ll be ready to rule the world. 

I disagree. To me, “Go Forth” is brilliant.

This ad campaign (some of the other ads are below) isn’t about the jeans at all. The jeans aren’t magical. They don’t transform you into a change-maker simply by wearing them. That’s silly. And it misses the point.

The commercial is about the jean wearer. In this campaign, they identified their target market (young, hip dreamers and doers), and they spoke to them.

This is exactly the idea behind Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. Levi Strauss bypasses the “what” and the “how” and heads straight to the “why” of their product. In their own words, “This campaign is designed to ignite a new generation of pioneers to believe in the Levi’s brand as much as we believe in them.”

That’s why. Mission accomplished.

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