Levi jeans commercials produced by Bartle, Bogle, and Hegarty in the 1980’s

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First manufactured in San Francisco in the days of the gold rush, denim jeans have had a great impact on popular culture. One of the leading producers of Jeans were Levi Strauss & Co. , founded in the city in the 1860’s. The company started in 1853, when Levi Strauss left New York to establish a dry goods business with his brother-in-law in San Francisco. In the 1860’s, though still primarily a seller of dry goods, he pioneered the use of a durable, brown, canvas-like material to make work trousers sold directly to miners.

In the 1870’s his company began to use metal rivets to strengthen the stress points of the garments, and demand increased. The company then expanded and early in the 20th century moved to 250 Valencia Street in the Mission District, where it remains today as a working clothes factory and as a museum. During the 1980’s the sales of Levi jeans had slumped to an all time low. The core brand values of quality, durability, Americaness and honest denim were being dissipates by other companies.

That claimed they had these qualities which Levi’s possessed. Levi’s had ‘Sold Out’. The company had to start to appeal to the teenage – young man generations (13-25). They had to be, in short, ‘definitive’ for a new generation. So Levi’s employed Bartle, Bogle, and Hegarty to produce a series of successful television ad’s that would promote youth, rebellion, and good times to the vast market of potential buyers.

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