Following BMW’s lead, Levi’s has produced a series of short films to connect with the artsy 20-somethings of the world. As if jeans aren’t ubiquitous enough with the demographic! In any event, the films are scripted reality – they are shot with handheld cameras, feature obscure struggling actors and the dialogue is freewheeling. All of which plays off the demographic’s love affair with real life captured on film.


In one film, “Helium,” a group of 20-somethings inflate a guy’s jeans with helium and watch him float around an abandoned lot. It’s an entertaining little episode but I find myself struggling with ROI. Can the producer connect exposure to some – heck, ANY – positive result for the company involved? These films are creative, they’re entertaining and some of them, like “Helium,” would and do make great TV spots. But what about the shorts that don’t make it to the small screen? Do they generate anything for the sponsoring company?


According to You Tube, “Helium” was posted in June 2008 and some 420,000 viewers have watched it since. That’s great … Did it cement a relationship with the brand in any of their minds? Did it induce any of them to buy a pair of Levi’s? Did any of them click to the Levi Web site after watching it?


Watch this video clip of David Skul, CEO of an interactive media marketing firm. In it, Skul discusses the potential for measurement attributed to new media.




Did you notice Skul mentioned umteen ways to COUNT or TRACK viewing and visitors but none of the discussed metrics followed the marketing tactic’s ability to impose financial consequences for the company? In today’s weakened economy and sharply competitive marketplace, it isn’t enough to simply count how many people watch the films or share the films with friends. It isn’t enough to know how they landed on the film either.


Final Bark

There is a push in marketing to move the discipline from the expense side of the ledger to investment. To avoid reductions in budgets and enhance the perception of the practice’s vitality to the success of a business, marketing professionals are trying to position their existence and their labors as essentials not luxuries. To do so, those of us in the field must clearly and succinctly demonstrate how each and every action forwards the company’s financial health.