Levi Strauss Mailing Targets Teen Girls

Responses still are trickling in from a mailing dropped two weeks ago by Levi Strauss and Co. that hit thousands of fashion-conscious preteens.

The latest mailing was the second and final phase of a campaign, dubbed Levi's GirlsView, aimed at about 25,000 girls ages 7 through 12. The jeans company culled the names from its Web site, jeans registration cards and toll-free informational number.

Although such clothing catalogers as Moxiegirl and Delia's target girls through direct mail, that tactic is uncommon among high-profile clothing brands, according to Andrew Wait, an account supervisor at Miller/Huber Relationship Marketing, San Francisco, the agency that created the campaign.

“Young girls are an emerging market,” Wait said. “Girls that are Levi's brand fanatics today, we expect to be brand fanatics when they grow up. So they are a very valuable audience in that sense.”

The first Girlsview piece, which dropped six months ago, was a self-mailer that featured a girl napping on her desk below copy reading: “While cramming for my Astronomy quiz, I drifted off and had the strangest dream…” The mailing unfolded into four sections and continued with: “I knew it must be a dream when the most popular girl in school floated by in these supercool wide leg cords — and said I could wear them anytime I wanted!” Three girls, outfitted in Levi's corduroys, jeans and overalls, floated in outer space among colorful satellites, missiles and planets.

Recipients were asked to fill out a survey on how often they shop for jeans, when they last bought jeans, if they would recommend Levi's to a friend and what they do for fun.

They were invited to save a sticker from each “issue” of GirlsView that they received and trade them in for a Levi's purse or T-shirt. The girls were given a postcard to pass along to a friend who might be interested in receiving Levi's mailings.

The mailing pulled in a response rate in the mid-twenties, spurred about a third of those who responded to pass the card to a friend and won first place in the Standard Consumer Direct Mail Category at the 1997-98 John Caples International Awards.

“We found that the girls are pretty loyal customers,” Wait said. “They reported a fair involvement with the brand and the category. Beyond that, we learned the usual stuff. They like the Spice Girls, they love skateboarding, and they love their friends and parents. The real learning was that they were really interested in responding to us and they really had fun and shared this thing.”

He noted that the high response rate could partly be because girls receive less direct mail than older populations.

The second Girlsview mailing featured a quartet of girl musicians in Levi's clothes and read: “This summer move to a different beat.” The girls were asked to fill out another survey requesting their birthdays, the number of jeans they bought in the last year, the number of Levi's jeans they bought and their feelings about Levi's. Girls were invited to swap another sticker for a gift and to visit the GirlsView Web site to win a Levi's wardrobe.

Levi Strauss, San Francisco, will review the results of the second mailing and determine whether to continue targeting girls through direct mail. The company is halfway through a direct mail campaign aimed at young adults.

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