Levi’s x Deepika Padukone: Influencer Marketing Strategy

By: Harneet Kaur 

Fashion trends come and go. Embellished sarees and kurtas in the times of kings and queens to its loose, comfortable cotton and linen counterparts, India has seen a major change in its fashion history. With the coming of Britishers and uprising of globalization, western trends have taken the mindset of future dressing sense by storm. 

Tshirts, shorts, sundresses and skirts are some of the staple clothing items in this generation’s closets. The most prominent item is denims. Whether it’s in the form of jeans, skirts or even jackets, this blue tinted apparel is a favourite, even though it was originally designed for the working class!

The Indian denim market share has been growing at a rate of 9-10% since the last decade. It is now expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% in the near future. This is largely because of a near 50% dominance of the 15-35 age groups in the population. Which is a demographic offering huge potential for the denim industry to grow.

Levi’s Strauss

One of the largest apparel brands of current time was formed in the year 1853 when a Bavarian guy named Levi Strauss came to San Francisco to open his dry goods business. In the year 1872, Levi and a tailor by the name Jacob Davis patent a work wear garment riveted-for-strength made of true blue denim. And the blue jeans were born in 1873.

Levi's Strauss
Source: Unsplash

Over the years, Levi’s denims have been a standard and choice for people across different backgrounds. The company transitioned to a global level quite efficiently in the years since it’s launch.

From blue jeans to white jeans, permanently creased pants, liberating women from the traditional clothing and even launching a set for kids, Levi’s has experimented a lot. And made way for people to integrate denims in their regular clothing.

Levi’s Entry In India

Levi's Entry in India
Source: Wikipedia

The famous denim brand, Levi’s Strauss, came to India in the year 1994. A whole new subsidiary was named as Levi’s Strauss India Ltd. They weren’t cheap, a single pair costing around 1.1k, but they were an already established brand globally.

To date, there are more than 400 Levi’s exclusive stores in India. And, it’s expanding its reach into the rural market just as fast.

Levi’s x Deepika Padukone

Where does Deepika Padukone come into the picture, you might ask? Levi’s had appointed Bollywood star Deepika Padukone as the global brand ambassador. The whole campaign revolved around the theme ‘When you take a step, we all move’. 

The ad film features women of diversified backgrounds dancing and moving to the tune of ‘Auva Auva Koi Yahan Nache’ alongside Deepika Padukone. This is done with the aim of inspiring and attracting the next generation of female consumers. It empowers and celebrates the spirit of womanhood and their collective journey of inspiring and championing each other through authentic self-expression.

The cinematically designed ad-film integrates and includes women of different walks of life, drummers, bikers, business women, wearing the perfect fit of their Levi’s jeans and dancing to the spirit of femininity. It manifests a cultural movement of women.

What Does The Company Say?

Saikot Das, the Marketing Director of South Asia, Middle East & North Africa at Levi Strauss & Co, said that the campaign is an ode to the collective movement of women who are moving ahead with strength and shaping a massive cultural change. On including Deepika in it, he said, “It’s great to have Deepika as part of the campaign as she embodies what it means to inspire generations to fearlessly chase their dreams and pursuits – a perfect fit to our campaign message ‘When you take a step, we all move’.” 

Through the campaign, they believe that they’ll be able to establish a strong connection with their consumers, influence and accelerate the women’s business, further strengthening their leadership in the market.

Virality of the Campaign

Ever Since Deepika became Levis’ Global Brand Ambassador. There had been an upsurge of sales and excitement when Levi’s announced this news. The campaign video went viral on the first day of its launch. 

The campaign had almost received 5.8 million views on Youtube. Considering it just launched 3 months back, on 26th February, this is no short feat.


The campaign might’ve had a good intention to display but it came under some fire. The advertisement features Deepika grooving inside the green studio which looks the same as in the movie Yeh Ballet directed by Sooni Taraporevala. The photographer and filmmaker accused the brand of “intellectual theft” as the studio used by them looks strikingly similar to the one used in the movie.

Sooni had taken to social media and in an elaborate post, lashed out at the clearly visible act of plagiarism by brand. She called out the copycat culture in India saying that she wished the foreign production company knew better, and that she didn’t know their team was so creatively bankrupt. 

However, she did say that this headline or her lashing out had nothing to do with Deepika Padukone or anyone in the cast.

Source: Instagram


The Levi’s campaign took up a very important topic that is making rounds in today’s time. Women Empowerment. The liberation, freedom and expression of women in our society. And they’ve been doing this since the emergence of their brand by making women’s clothing. Launching campaigns and enabling them to succeed. 

This particular one had been to attract the upcoming generation of females to own their individuality and expression. However, the controversial execution did some harm to their brand value, authenticity and creative expression. 

Brands need to be mindful of concepts like plagiarism and intellectual theft. No matter if they want to pay “homage” to a particular thing. Keep that in mind and we would get back to you with more interesting case studies and articles!

For the time, you can head over to other case studies like that of Sleepwell and Dabur Honey.

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