Thursday, August 14

Levi's Free Concert


On the surface, this seems like a pretty cool and pretty simple idea.

To get into this hot little summer concert at the Brooklyn Bridge Park in NYC, all you have to do is show up in a pair of Levi's.

Summer + outdoor music concert, makes sense.

Jeans + concert, makes sense.

Brooklyn Bridge Park + outdoor concert, makes sense.

Levi's = jeans, right, so that makes sense.

What's not to love?  Great branded promotion taping into a pop culture behavior and adding value to consumers' lives, right?  Adding value to their lives, right?  Giving them a free summer concert with the likes of Haim and Sleigh Bells in a great NYC summer venue.  All you have to do is throw on your Levi's.

Unless of course you didn't get the memo and you show up not wearing Levi's.

On the surface, you turn them away, right?  The rule is you have to wear the brand to get into the concert, right?  So these folks can't get it.  That's the rule, right?

So that's what they did, they turned them away.  Ouch.  Probably not a good idea in NYC with a millennial crowd who have no problem turning to social media.  The concert goers, or non-goers I should say, got very vocal.

Not the impression that the brand wanted to make, I am sure.

Lesson learned ... have a back-up plan.  Always have a default mechanism that consumers can turn to if they aren't in complete compliance with what you had planned.  For example, non-Levi's wearers have to pay to get in perhaps.

Give them an easy and agreeable way out.  Making people turn back empty-handed is not the impression you want to leave.  Otherwise the brand ends up looking too self-serving and too commercial, which doesn't necessarily work in pop culture scenarios.

Let's learn from this; I'm sure it has many applications to programs that many of us are developing for our brands.

What's your experience?  JIM.

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