Those were all the elements Steve Goldstein, VP-marketing for Levi Strauss & Co.'s Levi's Brand USA, loved about the company's Wide Leg Jeans campaign that targeted the brand's core customer of youthful males.
"We love the idea of this campaign," says Mr. Goldstein, whose bold stroke brought Levi Strauss into advertising turf tread upon only by his competitors. "If you look at the essence of the brand, it has a lot to do with youth and what it means to be young."
Mr. Goldstein, 47, was responsible for Levi Strauss' estimated $30 million push for Wide Leg Jeans. Capitalizing on a craze started by skateboarders who wanted more movement in their legs, Levi Strauss aired a campaign from Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, tagged "It's wide open."
One spot spoofed TV programs such as "ER," with doctors turning to song and practical jokes as they cared for a young accident victim. In a second spot, a man and woman in an elevator fall into a fantasy love momentarily, only to go their own ways after the doors open.
This campaign, along with the ongoing effort for Levi's 501 jeans, brought an increase in sales, says Mr. Goldstein, who declined to offer specifics.
Its push for wide legs gave life to the denim category, helping all its competitors from in-house brands from department stores and retailers such as The Gap to VF Corp.'s Lee jeans.
As a result, Mr. Goldstein says Levi Strauss later this year will shift its marketing dollars, estimated at $60 million, into a wide-open branding effort targeting all Levi Strauss customers.