Levi’s® Europe have launched Antidote, a new cross-media content platform and program.

Antidote is built around young people’s interests and the increasing indie publishing phenomenon (zines), driven by the Internet over the past few years. Antidote is an unusual marketing application of grassroots content and events, driven by where young people get together in their passion communities.

Through Antidote, the brand seeks to act as an enabler and facilitator that provides young people with the tools to pursue their passion and share it with others. Antidote is naturally led by what matters to young people and how they choose to express it, and as such almost a pioneering model: A major brand that voluntarily gives the lead to its con-sumers!

Kenny Wilson, President of Levi's® Brand in Europe said: "In a brand sensitive world, we need to engage with young people from where they stand. The Antidote pro-gramme acts as a facilitator of their interests, leveraging the international scale of the brand while ensuring exciting activity at both a pan-European, city and individual level. Antidote is a true reflection of the Levi's® brand ethos and will play an impor-tant part of the long-term development of the brand."

Antidote also allows the brand to strengthen the frequency and depth of dialogue with its European target audience, short- and long-term. By identifying and supporting young people’s passions with enriching elements, both brand and consumer can cre-ate collec-tive experiences.

Three outlets
Antidote comes to life across three closely integrated media channels that will grow organically over the course of 2005:

1. Antidote Online: An area on the brand website www.eu.levi.com/antidote that aggre-gates content from indie/’amateur’ publishers aka zines across Europe. We call them our Content Partners. Examples: Mercy (Liverpool, UK), Ladinamo (Madrid, ES), Living Company (Hamburg, DE), LFTFLD (Amsterdam, NL), and Mute (Oslo, NO).

2. Antidote Print: A printed zine in A2 folded format, which is a taster of Antidote Online and distributed in July in Levi’s® Stores across Europe, and other select locations.

3. Antidote Live: Events organised by the content partners and other passion commu-ni-ties at a local level and which are documented to feed content back into Antidote Online.

The content is generated and events are conceived by the zines (content partners), not the Levi’s® brand. Antidote acts as the platform for aggregation of the special interest content as well as helps fund the production and/or promotion of events with the primary focus on bigger cities in Europe (like Oslo) but not necessarily the big-gest (like London).

Antidote Live started quietly at the end of last year: A Poetry event in Liverpool, a music photography exhibition with a panel discussion about fanzine culture in Brigh-ton, and a collaborative fashion event in Milan. With more coming up all across Europe, through Antidote, Levi's® Europe aims to support roughly 40 grassroots events throughout 2005.

“Youth reality today is defined by what you choose to believe, not what you are told to believe. This is one of the reasons indie or ‘amateur’ publishing is at an all time high. Antidote’s content is driven by the views of cultural passion communities at a local level and shared across Europe in a way that only the Internet allows.
It’s a dynamic, inte-grated program across three streams, ultimately coming together online. This means three different opportunities with which to reach our target audi-ence where they are, in a way that is relevant for them.” Said Helene Venge, Digital Marketing Manager, Levi’s® Europe.

Antidote is co-created and executed by Levi’s® Europe’s digital marketing agency partner, Lateral. Jon Bains, chairman of Lateral said: "This initiative demonstrates the rational evolution of the principles of both consumer-led interactive media and next gene-ra-tion brand development. By helping to create a framework that facilitates the Levi's® brand’s core consumers’ passions with the benefit of a sustainable and scal-able content platform we are proud to be contributing to the long term development of the brand."

For further press information please contact:
Karen Durham-Diggins
KDDPR
T: +44 (0)20 8989 2541
M: +44 (0) 7808 584 624
E: kdd@easynet.co.uk

EDITORS NOTES:

Levi Strauss & Co - http://www.levistrauss.com
One of the world's leading branded apparel companies with sales in more than 100 countries worldwide. Since their invention in 1873, Levi's® jeans have become one of the most suc-cessful and widely recognized brands in the history of the apparel industry.

Levi's® Europe continues the focus on digital marketing innovation by expanding its Euro-pean website, http://www.eu.levi.com, aimed at their target audience of 15-24 year old girls and guys.
The website, developed by Levi's® Europe’s digital marketing agency Lateral, has already won two LIAA’s, a BIMA, Cyber Lion, and a One Show Merit.

Lateral – http://www.lateral.net
Award winning Lateral is an independent digital communications agency. Their pioneering expertise and professional approach has attracted recognition both with the new media in-dustry, as well as the consumer market as can be seen by clients such as Levi's® Europe, Five, Faber & Faber, Nintendo and RSPCA.

Published on: 12:00AM on 10th June 2005