Internet booty claimed by Colenso as Levi’s viral goes gangbusters

Youtube VideoColenso is always harping on about the conversation economy; about creating content that’s interesting and/or mysterious enough to get talked about by the masses. V’s Rocket Man succeeded in this regard, but the agency’s latest foray into the dark viral arts, a production/social experiment called the Rear View Girls that aims to promote Levi’s new range of Curve ID women’s jeans, has taken it to another, more international level.

Colenso’s managing director Nick Garrett says the agency was approached by Levi’s simply because it had noticed some of the work the agency had been producing and liked what it saw. And, as you can imagine, the College Hill gang were pretty happy to get such a big endorsement from a leading global brand, especially one that has the creative riches of the US on tap.

The agency responded to the brief with ten ideas and the hidden camera option, which was done on a shoestring budget with Colenso creative Jae Morrison on directorial duties, was the cheeky number that Levi’s decided to run with.

The success of the campaign was to be measured on the level of attention it received, with the goal being to get to one million YouTube views. Garrett says the US-based seeding company used by Levi’s obviously did a bloody good job and that number was reached on the first day, so the client came out and said it was all a bit of a con one week earlier than originally planned.

Currently the clip is up to 4.2 million views and stories and articles about it have already appeared on a number of news channels around the world.

As with all these trickster campaigns, Garrett says there have been both positive and negative responses to it, but everyone involved in the project is “pretty chuffed” at the way it all panned out and exceeded its targets by so much. With campaigns like Rico and, more recently the nzherald.co.nz’s NZ Notworth News, it raises a common modern marketing question: is it better be both loved and hated by millions than not to be noticed at all?

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