Interesting story in BrandWeek about how iconic jeans maker Levi Strauss achieved a quick sellout through an online ad campaign targeted at the hip hop generation.
According to the story, the plan was to launch an ad campaign that leveraged the target market's familiarity (some might say obsessive familiarity) with social networking by releasing a web application called a widget -- in this case, a widget stocked with unreleased hip hop tracks -- that could be shared with friends, and that included "a two-week countdown ticker that tracked how much time remained before the clothes were available for sale on March 1. The widget also included the locations where the special collection would be sold, product shots, and a customizable space where widget users could leave personal messages. The widget was launched on Wildfire, Gigya's widget distribution network. Banner ads also drove traffic to a Web page featuring the widget."
The product rollout was kept exclusive, and limited to stores in Chicago, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Calif., and New York, plus NikeTown outlets in Beverly Hills, Calif., San Francisco and New York. (Levi.com also sold a limited inventory.)
The result? Lines of customers at the stores and a total product sellout in about 50 seconds. That's a story of serious business success, whatever the widget.
(Visit our feature story on this topic for more about widgets, mashups and all the tools in the 2.0 toolbox.)