English Media Study - Levis Jeans.

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English Media Study Coursework

Levis Jeans

When Levi’s were first brought out, their target audience was youths, teenagers. Unfortunately as time went on, the teens that had originally bought them grew older and had kids which turned Levi’s into ‘My Dad’s Jeans’. With losing it’s youth market and with it’s sales falling Levi’s needed a new strategy. They brought in BBH to create a new advertising campaign. The idea was that they could recreate their original reputation in the 1950’s for the new generation. In the 1950’s the Levi’s brand was known for it’s original design, it’s strong hardwearing fabric and it’s American-ness. Their jeans were classic and stylish and above all, Levi’s. They represented rebellion, individuality and youth. To keep this idea their target audience was teenagers (15-20). Before the 50’s teenagers were either seen as children with no spending power or as Adults. After the war the hard times ended and people seemed to have a lot more money. Children now had a lot of that money, spending it on fashions and lifestyles. A new group of people to suck into the ever expanding trade, looking for heroes to follow, and interests to pursue, Levi’s used this opportunity and has drawn repeatedly on the idea of the ‘rebel’.


Levis’s new advertising campaign introduced a creative new idea, involving a man and a woman recreating the impression of 50s America. All the advertisements in this series revolved around this same idea of people finding the person wearing the jeans desirable. The scenarios ranged from launderettes to beaches, all featuring an emphasis on physical attraction and most of them set in a public place.

However Levis didn’t predict what sort of impact this commercial campaign would bring to the population of teenagers. The result was massive, the number of Button Fly 501’s sold in 1987 was over 20 times that of 1984, due to this break through in commercial advertising. Everyone wanted to get their hands on a pair of 501’s.

The majority of adverts in this particular campaign were targeted at the male gender of the population. The commercials are often controversial & always very lavishly produced. The adverts denote that wearing Levi’s is cool, sexy, stylish and, although being a casual fit, they are versatile in the sense that the jeans can be dressed up to impress (The Party advert), but at the same time, can be worn every day for work. As well as being all of the above, Levi’s have managed to get the right balance between rebellion and style. Many of the advertisements in this series show the hero in a state of nudity, often topless, this increases the sex appeal of Levi Strauss’ revolutionary 501’s.

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An example of their successful campaign is the advert referred to as ‘The Deal.’ This advert starts off in a busy office, business people buzzing around with a generally hardworking atmosphere. The background song is called ‘The Joker,’ which was released in 1973, then re-released in 1990, and as a result of this successful commercial reached number 1 in the charts. The lyrics are fit very closely with the action in the ad.

The male character enters via the lift on a motorbike looking very cool and showing connotations of being a bit of a stereotypical hell’s angel. He ...

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