Levi’s inhabits planet of the cats

In an effort to reinvigorate the Levi's brand, Levi Strauss & Co. (Canada) has launched its first television commercial in more than 18 months. The national 30-second spot, supported by an outdoor billboard campaign, was directed by Bruce McDonald, the man...

In an effort to reinvigorate the Levi’s brand, Levi Strauss & Co. (Canada) has launched its first television commercial in more than 18 months. The national 30-second spot, supported by an outdoor billboard campaign, was directed by Bruce McDonald, the man behind Canadian indie hits such as Highway 61, Hardcore Logo and episodes of the TV series Twitch City.

The ads, which launch Levi’s spring line, are aimed at consumers 15-24 who are fans of shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files, says Vincent Lam, consumer marketing manager at Richmond Hill, Ont.-based Levi Strauss.

‘We wanted to do something very, very different,’ he says. ‘And different from other fashion advertising that mainly shows pretty people in pretty clothing,’ he says.

The spot features a handsome young man in a post-apocalyptic world who is imprisoned in a cage with two sultry women. Guarding them are mutant cats decked out in Levi’s casual wear. As the commercial ends, the man screams at the cats, Charlton Heston-style, ‘You stole our style, you mutant felines!’

While Levi’s is still the leader in the denim and casual pants category, it has come under increasing pressure from the competition, says Genevieve Dennis, account director at Harrod &Mirlin/FCB, Levi’s agency of record and creator of the spot.

‘Testing has shown that some young people have begun to think of Levi’s as their jeans of their parents,’ she says. ‘We wanted to do something bold that would reconnect with those young consumers.’

The spot will run nationally in heavy weights from March 6 to the middle of April, including a special 60-second version that will run during the pre-Academy Awards show. Forecasts show that 85% of Canadian consumers 15-49 will see the commercial about 12 times during its run.

It was important for Levi’s to come out strong with the campaign and reclaim its position as the number one jean and casual pants brand, says Dennis.


Client: Levi Strauss and Co. (Canada)

Agency: Harrod & Mirlin/FCB

Account Director: Genevieve Dennis

Creative Director: Brian Harrod

Copywriter: Joseph Nanni

Art Director: Larry Ioannou

Director: Bruce McDonald

Media: Television, out-of-home

Start date: March 6

End Date: Mid-April

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.