Levi's reaches out to Generation O and tells them to 'go forth'

NEW YORK - Levi's is attempting to reconnect with America's youth, the "millennials" who have been dubbed Generation O(bama), in the first work created by Wieden & Kennedy Portland since it was appointed to the US account last December.

The 'Go forth now' campaign launches in time for America's annual Fourth of July celebrations, and draws on the greatpoet Walt Whitman's poem 'America'.

The ad uses a recording of the poem which was believed to have been made by Whitman and ends with a call for Americans to "go forth".

According to a report in the New York Times, the campaign has been designed to connect the 150-year-old brand with youth of today, and is in response to research which shows that this generation is patriotic about the US and optimistic about life.

Doug Sweeny, vice-president for Levi's brand marketing, said of the young Americans at whom the campaign is aimed: "They're realists -- they understand the challenge. They're optimistic about the future, they can project forward. We found that really powerful and tried to evoke it in the campaign."

The sentiment of the campaign ties in with our recession-strapped times, with print ads urging Americans to "strike up for the new world" and reminding them that "all I need is all I got".

W&K has created a multi-faceted campaign, covering the usual media but also including social media, event marketing and a bid to get Levi's wearers to create content on the theme of 'Stories of America' for the dedicated website.

Those whose work ends up as part of an online gallery will be given a pair of classic Levi's 501s and will be given then chance to win other prizes.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the previous incumbent on the US Levi's account, continues to work on the brief in Europe.