Levi Strauss sponsors Splam site in effort to target girls

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Levi Strauss & Co., in one of its first major pushes to reach girls, has taken to the Web's newest kids' zine, a joint venture between the Attitude Network and Universal Studios that launches Sept. 15.

The new zine, titled Splam, targets 6-to-12-year-olds and is expected to appeal to kids looking for an after-school computer game break. The site includes characters from Universal Studios' "Hercules & Xena the Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus," as well as Woody Woodpecker, Crash Bandicoot and others.


Levi Strauss will sponsor Splam's fashion and trend content area, called "Hype." Part of the section includes a "Cool for School" area, which will show Levi's being worn by celebrities popular with the young set, such as Justin Cooper, who appeared in the film "Liar, Liar." Attitude Network is seeking sponsors for its sports, screen, games and tunes areas as well.

"We are reaching girls with our message in an environment growing in importance [for them]," said Jay Thomas, relationship marketing manager, Levi Strauss.

"We are going where they are going to be," he said of girls' interest in e-mail and chat rooms, features of the site.

Previously, Levi Strauss' marketing efforts toward girls had been limited to direct mail, he said. The apparel manufacturer, however, has long been a backer of Web content aimed at its target audience. Among sites it sponsors are ESPN, Women's Wire and Sonic Net.


Under a new, separate deal, NBC's Web site will include fictional stories relating to Levi Strauss' "They Go On" branding campaign. In the $90 million-plus TV, radio and outdoor effort, a number of characters walk in and out of situations in a serial-like collection of spots. NBC writers will create new scenarios about the characters for the Web site.

The NBC site will be cross-linked to the Levi site, which will have more factual information about the actors in the commercials, Mr. Thomas said. "We are building content in areas where our customers will be," he said.

Attitude Network will market the new zine through joint promotions with Universal Studios at its amusement parks and on videos, TV shows, and movie trailers, said Don Rainey, president, Attitude Network, Herndon, Va.

Splam also will be advertised on the Attitude Network's Happy Puppy site, a leading gaming site.

Attitude Network's fare is popular with the young set, Mr. Rainey said, because "this is fun. This is entertainment."

Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, is Levi Strauss' agency. Attitude Network's advertising is handled in-house.

Copyright September 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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