Levi’s Antidote

Levi\'s AntidoteLevi’s Antidote is, in its own words:

“…a living, growing snapshot of what people are thinking and doing across Europe.”

Now, as the guys at SMLXL so rightly point out, this is theoretically a great idea. A campaign that supports creativity, gets people involved and says all the right stuff about Levi’s. BUT, to my mind it gets lots of things wrong…
By collating all of this content in one place, Levi’s is not being true to the web. They’ve taken this content and reformatted and repackaged it to fit within a Levi’s framework. Yes. There are some advantages to this. Localisation of content being the obvious one, centralisation of web traffic being another. But on the flipside it feels a bit too much like trying to own independent content.

The amount of meetings I’ve sat in over the years where people want to own something online. I couldn’t tell you how many, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said it was nearly a lot. And the times it’s really made me go ‘yuk’ is when they try to own something free spirited and entrepreneurial.

A quick point of clarification – normally when people talk about owning things online, they’re not talking about owning the idea or the concept (as they might in traditional advertising). They’re talking about controlling on it, sitting on it, being the one place where people can go and access it. It’s kind of the antithesis of what the web is all about. But for big companies that kind of ‘letting go’ is something really uncomfortable. They see it almost like having signs in their shops pointing to their competitors across the road. “What! You mean I should link to something someone else has written? No way, they might never come back!” – sort of thing.

Anyway, that’s how the Levi’s Antidote thing feels to me.

If I had free reign over a project like this I think it’d be far more interesting, or at least genuine, to work with the ‘zine owners to help them get online. Or to promote their websites. Turning Antidote into a hub, a real hub, of creative content in Europe. Levi’s can still play a part, acting as the facilitator, and offering an editorial layer over the top of all the content.

It doesn’t feel like an Antidote to anything right now.

(via Modern Marketing)

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