Levi’s Works on Stuff That Matters

Ever since Tim Tim O’Reilly’s essay “Work on Stuff That Matters” over one year ago, and being so close with social marketing as a blogger at, i’m always on the lookout for marketing campaigns that go beyond the shallow one-hit tactics.

From the writings of Umair Haque at HBR on Betterness and the value of Social Enterprise to shift on marketing budgets like the recent Pepsi Refresh Project (that is now commiting additional funds to the Gulf), it feels as if the financial crisis brought a renewed interest in corporate responsalibility and ethics in business.

One of the most remarkable examples of this trend is the joint project between Levi’s and the burrough of Braddock, Pennsylvania. You can get acquainted with the town’s hardship by watching Mayor John Fetterman on the talk below at PopTech, where he shares the story of a city with not much hope a few years ago.

Levi’s and ad agency Wieden Kennedy also became a part of this tale of city reinvention, when creating their campaign Levi’s Ready To Work, built around the spirit and hope of Braddock.

The TV, Outdoor and Print materials are much more than meets the eye; all the people you see in it are residents of Braddock.

You can discover the stories behind the communities inspiring the rebirth of the town on the YouTube channel, and almost feel the spirit of pioneers so dear to the brand. Even if i’m not sure how much Levi’$ is committed on helping Braddock, it’s a shame the channel doesn’t get more reach.

More about the reinvention of Braddock on David Streitfeld’s article on the NYTimes, last February. Hint: good journalism is usually a great source of inspiration for relevant marketing campaigns.

On a related note, fill in the blanks on Bogusky’s interview where he tries to get his genuine voice back.