Cannes Lions

Levi's Use Your Vote

FCB WEST, San Francisco / LEVI STRAUSS / 2019

Awards:

3 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

In the U.S., midterm elections are used to elect the Congress. Many Americans consider it a less important election, even though the Congress has the power to counterbalance the President. The 2014 midterm election saw the lowest voter turnout in 75 years. Only 36.4% of eligible voters turned out and only 19% of 18-29-year-olds voted.

Mindful of the divide within the country, we were careful to not take sides and portray voting as a beautiful opportunity. How could we tap into Levi's values while also poignantly tapping into an important cultural moment to get young Americans to act?

Idea

Authentic self-expression is at the core of the Levi's brand, and there is no purer form of self-expression than your vote. So instead of using their budget to sell jeans, they used it to encourage young Americans to take pride in their civic duty.

We knew that prodding people to vote wouldn't work. Instead we reminded young Americans that voting is a powerful way to make yourself heard-one that people all over the world are still fighting for.

The campaign centered around a film that didn't pander to young voters and instead showed that it doesn't matter what you look like, how much money you make, or who you love, everyone deserves to be heard.

Then, we used social, limited edition products, company initiatives, influencer partnerships, and non-profit partnerships to not just talk about voting, but to actively encourage young Americans get involved in the election.

Strategy

We targeted 18-29 year old's. They represent the lowest voter turnout of any age group. In 2014, an abysmal 19% turned out to vote.

We learned that this target doesn't like to be lectured to and they consume media fluidly, across many channels. So we needed to inspire, not preach and bring our message to them in a variety of ways.

Previous voting campaigns use shocking stats around low turnout to urge people to vote. But, that reinforces that not showing up on election day is normal, acceptable behavior. We decided to do the exact opposite.

We showed people from all backgrounds doing the same thing: voting. More than convincing people that your vote is important, we made voting a behavior that is seen as a conscious choice. Something to be proud of. Our call to action was simple, "Use Your Vote."

Execution

We launched the campaign on September 24th, 2018 and it ran for six week leading up to election day. The purposefully short media spend was used to create urgency up to the election. And on TV, it ended on election day with a very specific and timely CTA that calls young Americans to use your voice on November 6th.

The film ran on TV, digital, and social across to appeal to the multi-media consuming youth target. Our PR, social, and in-store activations also ran during this time, making sure we a variety of ways to direct young Americans to vote.

Outcome

- 411 other major companies signed the Time to Vote initiative including Lyft, Patagonia, PayPal, Kind, Sonos, and Walmart.

- Levi's "VOTE" shirt sold out and was proactively worn by activists, influencers and celebrities like Spike Lee, Snoop Dogg, Dustin Hoffman, and Elisabeth Moss.

- 763.6MM total paid media impressions.

- 363MM impressions from YouTube Masthead Takeover.

- 79.9M social impressions.

- 86% Reach (26% higher than projected).

- 1000+ new voters registered in Levi's locations

- Levi's attributes this film to helping them reach a rate of growth they haven't experienced in over 25 years.

- And while we obviously weren't the sole cause, we like to think we played a small part in contributing to the highest midterm voter turnout in over 100 years, where some cities saw a 500% increase in the youth vote.

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