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Levi's Dockers brand launches first motion-sensitive ad for iPhone

Denim giant Levi Strauss & Co.'s Dockers San Francisco brand has created the first interactive "shakable" mobile advertisement within a custom-built ad network of iPhone applications.

By combining the reach of an ad with the popularity of mobile apps, Dockers is using the iPhone's motion-sensitive functionality in a new advertising channel to interact with mobile consumers and engage them with the Dockers brand. Starting today, the ad will run for four weeks within free iPhone applications such as iBasketball, iGolf, iBowl and i.TV.

"As a leader in using the technology that their target is heavily engaged in -- the iPhone -- the campaign directly taps into Docker's position as one of the foremost companies using alternative advertising mediums to directly to talk to their consumers in a way that is both entertaining and engaging," said Jonathan Haber, U.S. director of OMD's Ignition Factory, Los Angeles.

Responsible for the mobile effort, Ignition Factory is a creative catalyst unit within media buying agency OMD, focused on media concepts in technology, marketing and traditional media. OMD is part of Omnicom Group Inc., one of the leading ad agency holding firms worldwide.

This new campaign does not incorporate a standalone Dockers-branded mobile application, but rather uses rich-media mobile ad units distributed across multiple, pre-existing, ad-supported iphone applications.
Agency partner OMD was the force behind the new in-application Dockers ad.

"OMD worked with Dockers to place the Dockers 'shakable' ad in leading applications that reached the target where they live and play, including iBowl, iBasketball, iGolf and i.TV," Mr. Haber said.

"These choices were informed by the insights that the target indexed very high against gaming, mobile entertainment consumption and iPhone ownership, all of which informed our media application selection process," he said.

The target demographic of the campaign is men ages 30-39.

"One key to the highly unique nature of this execution is that it was an actual ad that is served to consumers as they use selected iPhone apps," Mr. Haber said. "The ad delivers impressions on its own.

"However, the innovation in the way advertising can be consumed on the iPhone platform is creating buzz among consumers extending the reach and power of the execution," he said.

The Dockers shakable ad, available in a number of popular iPhone applications, integrates the functionality of the iPhone by taking advantage of the accelerometer technology, evolving the standard online banner ads to fit this new medium.

The motion-sensitive and sound-enabled mobile ad will be embedded directly in select game applications.

This new advertising format is designed to engage consumers in the same way they are interacting with the iPhone and its applications -- through interactive play.

Dockers is an example of a large brand using alternative advertising mediums to directly reach their target.

Levi Strauss, famous for denim, introduced the Dockers brand in 1986 as the casual alternative to jeans and dress pants.

In 2002, Dockers khakis were found in the wardrobes of eight out of 10 American men, such popularity causing the Dockers brand to be, at times, synonymous with khakis.

As a result, Dockers has recently adopted the "Dockers San Francisco" global identity and marketing campaign in an effort to evolve beyond the success of its khakis into a full lifestyle resource, providing head-to-toe apparel for women, men, boys, products for the home and luggage.

Under the current "Dress To Live" campaign, Dockers features four clothing specialties: weekend, work, dress and golf.

"Shakedown 2 Get Down"
The Dockers iPhone ad, titled "Shakedown 2 Get Down," features Dufon, a.k.a. Orb/Orbit/Orbitron, a freestyle dance expressionist from a Seattle group called "Circle of Fire," dancing around the screen wearing Dockers Vintage Workwear Khakis.

In between levels of gameplay in the select application, users are prompted to shake the iPhone setting off Dufon's dance moves.

Consumers will receive a full sight-and-sound dance experience.

The creative concept and filming were handled by Seattle-based interactive agency firm Razorfish.

Razorfish is one of the largest digital marketing companies in the world. Its clients include Carnival Cruise Lines, MillerCoors, Levi's, McDonald's and Starwood Hotels.

The vendor
"We provided all of the ad and analytics technology behind this and have some really innovative things we can do in our ad units," said Eric Litman, CEO of Medialets Inc. "These ads are built using Web technologies (HTML, JavaScript, CSS) with a little secret sauce in there to make them really come alive with all of the cool features that define smartphones today: tilting, shaking, rotating, pinching, swiping, etc.

"From a value perspective, we can make a very compelling proposition in that while these are sold on a CPM basis, there is no limit to the number of actions possible within a single ad and marketers can combine branding, customer acquisition, permission-based data capture and more all within one of these interstitial ads," he said.

Apple of marketers' eye
With the popularity of free application downloads being 200 to 1 over paid apps, according to OMD, this new realm of marketing monetizes applications beyond digital sales and provides a more targeted reach.

Currently, there are 27,000 applications that have been downloaded more than 500 million times on the iPhone.

The iPhone's interactive platform lends itself to new and innovative ads that let users directly interact with the brand.

OMD is one of the largest media communications specialists in the world, with more than 140 offices in 80 countries. Its Ignition Factory unit also encompasses gaming, mobile and emerging media exploration and execution on behalf of OMD's portfolio of clients.

"Ignition Factory is a specialized unit within OMD retained by Dockers to inject creative ideas in technology, marketing and traditional media into their media and marketing plans," Mr. Haber said. "The group focuses on ... executions that create buzz and help clients break through the clutter in a highly fragmented landscape.

"Mobile marketing is one of the advertising platforms that will continue to grow despite the current economic recession, allowing companies to strategically employ constricted ad dollars," he said.