Dockers Dabbles in TV/Social Convergence

The Dockers San Francisco division of Levi Strauss & Co. is using Mixercast’s Mcast social media marketing platform in a campaign that allows people to create their own Dockers commercials for social network site distribution.

San Mateo-based Mixercast said Dockers San Francisco is the biggest consumer brand yet to use its platform. The deal was initiated by Chicago agency Draftfcb which handles the Dockers account and wanted to add a social networking component to a standard TV ad buy, said Mixercast Co-founder and CEO Jennifer Cooper and Draftfcb VP and director of creative media Michael Knott.

Cooper said the goal of the campaign is to have viewers evangelize the Dockers brand through the social web on sites such as MySpace. Using the Mixercast platform and content provided — including music, logos and footage — participating viewers can make their own Dockers ads.

These personalized commercials will be patterned after, and use elements of, a Dockers “livemercial” that aired this week on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. After the commercial aired, viewers were asked to go to a microsite on to learn more about making their own ad using Mixercast’s platform.

After being reviewed and approved by Dockers, homemade commercials will be embedded in a Mixercast widget that can be freely distributed. There will be a contest for the best user-generated Dockers commercial and the winning ad will be aired June 13 on The Tonight Show.

Cooper, a former executive director of business development for Yahoo, said Mixercast brings “traditional brands from traditional media… into the social Web.”

The campaign started out as a traditional buy on the Tonight Show. Dockers bought three or four spots, then reached out to Mixercast with the goal of creating

Knott said Draftfcb knew it needed to “build big reach” with the Dockers campaign and identified late-night television as an important place to advertise. “Once we had the livemercial in place that’s where we took it a step further,” he said. “It was borne out of a very traditional approach, a very traditional base of the media plan. As we started to build out the plan we took it step-by-step.”

Knott said the agency will assess the Dockers effort to identify future opportunities for TV/online social network convergence.

“We need to see how things work out,” he said. “It’s definitely something we feel is taking us in the right direction. We have to figure out the right way to handle social media and user generated content.”

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