Levi's enjoys 'Rebirth' on the Web in Asia

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[Singapore] Levi Strauss & Co. has gone online to alert Asia's young tech-savvy trend-setters about the debut of its re-cut 501 Re-born jeans.

An ad campaign centers around a Web site (levi501reborn.com) stocked with hip features that integrate the brand with music and style. The minisite, created by WPP Group's OgilvyOne Worldwide, Singapore, features an online music mixer that lets visitors listen to tracks such as "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," "Ain't Nothing but the Real Thing" and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)."

Consumers can also remix the songs. "There are full-length Levi's mixes of the songs, but viewers can create their own version of each track, record it, and send it to friends, which then encourages others to visit the site," said Dominic Goldman, creative director-interactive at OgilvyOne, Singapore. The site currently has just three songs, but more will be added after music rights have been finalized.

made over

Later this year, some of the country sites will feature an in-store stylist to give visitors advice on fashion and styling and let them schedule an appointment online for a consultation at a Levi's store. Links to a "501 Restyled" page will feature "reborn" individuals who have gone through the makeover process.

Online visitors can also register for mobile phone wallpaper, screen savers, ring tones and other extras. In Indonesia, for instance, this will be done through a joint promotion with Sony Ericsson and a local telecom operator.

The Web site is supported by banner ads, point-of-sales communication and promotional events as well as print ads by Levi's creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which is 49%-owned by Publicis Groupe. The print ads feature a young Asian man, clad only in Levi's and curled in a fetal position, an image mirrored on the Web site. The campaign will run through the first half of 2004 in key markets like China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. The site also has country links for other markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan and Thailand.

The jeans marketer centered the 501 Re-born campaign around a Web site because "that is where our consumers are. At the same time, we'll also be able to learn a lot more about our consumers and communicate with them in more effective ways," said Bibi Choa, Levi's Singapore-based strategic brand planning director, Asia/Pacific. Parts of the 501 mini-site may become permanent online features. "The trend in media usage is 17-to-24-year-olds are spending more time online than reading magazines or watching TV-three hours a day-plus in markets such as Thailand," said Lucy McCabe, group planner, OgilvyOne, Singapore.

Advertising online "also enables consumers to interact with the site and they spend a lot longer with your brand. The average length of time on the Reborn site is five minutes; that's longer than they spend interacting with the brand in other places," Ms McCabe added.

Nokia, Adidas

Levi's is not the only marketer in Asia to focus its resources on interactive media. Online ad revenue in the region (excluding Japan) is projected to grow by more than 400% by 2007, to $1.62 billion, from about $304.3 million in 2002, according to International Data Corp., particularly in key markets such as South Korea (where the majority of the population already has broadband access) and China and Australia.

Nokia, for example, uses the Web to promote telephones aimed at Asian youth, such as the Nokia 3200. An online campaign for that model, also created by OgilvyOne, Singapore, allows youth to design their own phone covers, which can be printed on special paper and applied to phones. They can also download covers designed by local celebrities and enter design competitions.

Adidas adopted an online campaign, created by Tequila, a unit of Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide, to lure Asian youth to its flagship store in Singapore late last year. And in Hong Kong, PCCW, the territory's largest telecommunication provider, developed an interactive campaign last year to promote its youth brand, One2Free. Advertising by Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide, Hong Kong featured the brand's multimedia messaging services with a love triangle story starring the Asian musician Jay Chou. Using the same mobile-phone technology, viewers could submit their own ending to resolve the love story.

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