Choose two adverts from the Levi’s campaign
Levi jeans are an item of clothing famous for their superiority and unique advertising ability. They are now one of the world’s largest brand names with sales in more than a hundred countries. No other company has comparable global presence in the jeans and casual trouser market. Today the Levi’s logo is one of the most recognised in the world; the jeans have become an international phenomenon. Embraced for their unmatched comfort and sex appeal, they have become an icon of American culture.
An American, Levi Strauss first manufactured the jeans in 1873. The company set up in San Francisco produced the first ever pair of jeans, which were given the brand name ‘501s’. These tough wearing jeans were originally designed as work wear, worn by farmers, cowboys and miners. During the 40s the reputation of Levi’s ‘501s’ grew with sales increasing steadily each year. Sales rocketed in the 1950s as teenagers now choose the jeans as a fashion statement. They represented the casual, rebellious image of the youth of that era. These jeans became a symbol of a dressed down society, breaking with conventional fashion and rigid social morals.
During the late 70s and early 80s things began to change, the jeans were no longer seen as the fashion statement they had once been. They had become unpopular and no longer admired by teenagers. Gradually, the outward symbol of alternative culture was integrated into mainstream society; even respectable adults that had grown up wearing the jeans accepted them into their wardrobes, meaning that the jeans had lost there youthful, rebellious image. Also sales suffered further due to competition from other retail companies who could produce and sell their jeans cheaper. Sales were dropping massively and something needed to be done.
An English advertising company called ‘Bartle, Bogle and Hegarty’ was employed to create an advertising campaign. There aim was to revitalise sales and give Levi’s a new image to bring back the younger generation. The purpose of the campaign was to bring back the trendy rebellious image by targeting 15-19 year old males; show the uniqueness and ordinality of the jeans. The television adverts launched on Boxing Day 1985 were designed to manipulate the viewer into believing these jeans would give them everything they wanted in life: style, sex appeal, success, popularity, freedom and individuality. The adverts were a remarkable triumph and sales increased by 2000%. Once again Levi’s dominated the jeans and casual pants market.
The campaign included such adverts as ‘The Pick up’ and ‘The Laundrette’. These two adverts share many differences and similarities to the Levi’s advert genre. When looking at the two adverts closely there are various techniques used to sell the jeans in the form of characters, music, setting, lighting, connations, common themes and common features. The advert entitled ‘The Laundrette’ featured strongly in the advertising campaign. The advert first focuses on a solider and then a 1950s style vehicle on an old road. The focus then changes to a conventionally good-looking man wearing Levi jeans.
As he walks down the street to a laundrette, passers by turn to watch him. He walks in and goes towards a washing machine; two small boys stare at him over the top of the machine, before their mother pulls them away. He begins to remove all his clothes, placing them into the washer machine, until he is just left wearing a white pair of boxer shorts; he then empties a bag of stones into the machine with the clothes and turns it on. We also see two young women admiring him, giggling, obviously embarrassed by his presence. After doing this, he turns and sits next to a large man with a disapproving look upon his face. The advert ends with the good looking man reading a newspaper and the Levi’s logo and caption super imposed on the screen.
Another interesting and popular advert in the campaign is ‘The Pick-up’. This advert is set in the middle of nowhere in an isolated place; it begins with a man and a woman standing next to their broken down car. The man accompanying the woman is not what would be expected, he is not particularly good looking, he is wearing a suit and thick glasses. A passing car pulls up to the couple, a good looking man gets out, wearing Levi’s jeans. While attempting to fix their car he spills hot water on the other mans foot, causing steam to come from the engine. The man begins to remove his jeans to reveal his white underwear.
The woman looks over at him admiringly, the man she is with, possibly her boyfriend, looks shocked and steps in front of her, as if he is trying to shield her away from the other man. After removing the jeans, he proceeds to tie the two vehicles together using his jeans. He gets into his van and beckons the women to him. Glancing once at the other man, she gets into the car. They then drive away, with the jeans towing the other vehicle. Whilst driving up a hill, the attractive man thrust the gear stick sharply, causing the bumper to fall off the car leaving the other man behind. The good-looking man and the women drive off into the sunset. The Levi’s logo and caption appear on the screen.