Unveiling the Hong Kong launch of its new global brand message “Go Forth”, Levi Strauss & Co wanted to create “goose bump” moments for 100 hard-to-impress country general managers, marketing leaders, buyers, retail operators and key distributors, who were to attend a runway presentation and evening event showcasing the company’s next-season products.
“The objective was to create an inspirational ‘Pioneer’ experience. To try to embrace the ‘Go Forth’ in every young person, showing their emotion, energy, dreams and desires… No Limits,” says Yamilette Mcano, account director, Maya Consultants Limited. The main point was to get the guests’ complete buy-in at the end of the evening so that the new-season line-up would make a splash in retail stores.
In its brief for the event, Levi’s listed a number of must-haves: a fashion show, “Pioneer” stories to showcase, craftsmanship and creative displays, live feeds with video and Powerpoint presentations, entertainment and a band, as well as food and beverages. “As a whole, it was to be an integrated experience where activities and displays blended together to create a bigger impact,” Mcano adds.
For Maya Consultants and Xtreme Xecution, the three-week lead time was a big obstacle given the scope of the project, which included venue management, budgeting, “Pioneer” sourcing and video shooting of their stories, F&B management and sourcing decorations and ideas for the display. Maya was also responsible for the entertainment and the band, as well as sourcing the models, choreographers, make-up artist and stylist for the fashion show.
But with a single-minded focus, the Maya team was able to pull off the event. “Three weeks is a short time for such a detailed and emotion-oriented event,” says Mcano. “It was not only about doing well and having a great production, it also had to be memorable and emotional. We worked with passion during those three weeks and we ourselves stepped up into the Pioneer and Go Forth experience. We all wore the Levi’s T-shirt.”
The event was held in a unique Hong Kong venue. Escaping from the bustle and hustle of the city, Levi’s executives and guests convened at the hillside Shaw Studios in Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories.
There, in its spacious backlot, Levi’s created an energetic atmosphere. When the doors of the venue were opened, guests encountered the brand message right under their feet. “We had the ‘Go Forth’ manifesto printed on a big floor sticker and we placed it on the venue’s floor. When the doors opened, guests literally had to walk into the experience,” Mcano recalls.
In keeping with the “Pioneering” theme, the venue was decorated with displays made of wooden panels, wood ladders, retro accessories, hand-painted Levi’s logos and “Pioneer” objects and photos. The stage was installed in the middle of the venue, with the catwalk built to go around the stage. A video cube hung above the stage and images of “Pioneer” stories were projected during the entire event.
The entertainment included a jam session by a Senegalese group who created music using African drums, as well as a modern dance number. To finish off the party, there was a performance by New Zealand-based band I Am Giant. “Every little detail was integrated,” explains Mcano, “starting with the rhythm of the energetic African drums and dance, to the astonishing moves from the contemporary dancers, to the fashion show that showed off the glamour and style of the new Levi’s clothing line.”
At the beginning of the evening, a graffiti artist was hard at work creating a painting that served as the backdrop of the fashion show. After the runway walk the artist continued to work on the painting, with the finished work – showing the message “Go Forth” – unveiled at the end of the event.
Many of the guests went home with souvenir snaps taken from a special photo booth installed for the event. “People stayed longer at the party even though it was a Thursday night. They were happy, dancing, taking pioneer pictures at the photo booth and enjoying the whole experience,” Mcano says.
Asked about any key learning, she adds: “Having great AV was very important in making the event run smoothly. Also, the great show was made possible through team effort, passion and perseverance. With all these elements, creativity and good work come easily.”
EVENT Levi’s Go Forth
VENUE Shaw Studios, Tsueng Kwan O, Hong Kong
DATE March 6, 2011
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS 100
ORGANISERS Maya Consultants Limited and Xtreme Xecution