In July 2015, clothing store and retailer Levi’s released its new women’s denim jean collection through a continuation of the “Live in Levi’s” campaign, developed by FCB. One of the ads for the women’s line, “Firsts” tells the story of two denim-clad friends who share a lifetime of firsts together, from first impressions to first loves. The bluesy rock song “Wicked Ones” by the female-fronted band Dorothy pumps in the background as the two women break out their first moves at the club, greet the first light of dawn, and more.
A “Badass” Song
According to a July 8 Ad Age article, the campaign for Levi’s new women’s denim collection is the brand’s largest effort aimed at women since the debut of its first pair of women’s jeans in 1934. Some ads feature female musicians such as Alicia Keys, who opened her commercial with the voiceover, “All women are badass.” The brand needed a song that communicated the same “badass” sentiment for its “Firsts” ad.
Jessie LaBelle, Music Dealers Senior Creative Director, received the creative brief from the client outlining the spot’s music needs. After a few rounds of music pitches, including artists in and outside the Music Dealers catalog, the client decided on Dorothy’s song, “Wicked Ones.” As the track was published by one of the majors, Bridget Perdomo, Music Dealers Director of Label & Publisher Relations, began clearing the song for use. Within a few speedy negotiations, “Wicked Ones” was set to sync.
“Music represents authenticity and self expression and that’s what the Levi’s brand is really about,” said Levi’s CMO Jennifer Sey in an interview with Ad Age. The brand maximized this authenticity by licensing Dorothy’s song for the spot. “Wicked Ones” is the third single off the band’s self-titled debut EP, which was released on iTunes last December. The song has 500k listens on SoundCloud and 900k listens on Spotify, and is lauded for frontwoman Dorothy Martin’s powerful vocals and lyrics. The track perfectly matches the spirit of the campaign, and also associates the brand with an up-and-coming artist at the onset of her rise.