Looking At Gender In The Levi's Commercials.

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Looking At Gender In The Levi's Commercials

Levi's began to manufacture jeans around the 1870s, and jeans were originally working men's clothing. During the 1950s people aged 13 - 19 became known as teenagers, prior to this people were all either children or adults. Jeans became popular clothes for teenagers because they were seen as a sign of rebellion against parents and authority.

The jeans wearing teenagers then grew up and become parents meaning that the next generation of youngsters saw older people wearing the jeans and refused to wear them. This forced jeans to become unfashionable through the early 80s.

In the mid 80s Levi's hired a highly successful advertising company (Bartle Bogle Hegarty) who with a series of adverts turned around the situation, resulting in the sales of Levi's jeans rising 20 fold.

Advertisement 66 features a young man in a city apartment who wears the jeans. The man is what could be described as "conventionally good looking," and is very tanned, at the start wearing just boxer shorts. At this time many people thought that tanned meant you were healthy, and seeing a good looking healthy man wearing the jeans would convince many teenagers to wear them.

The man does some exercises, showing off his body before slipping the jeans on. Whilst he is doing this focus is upon the crotch and buttocks of the jeans. This makes the man more sexually attractive to impressionable viewers.

The man then looks in the mirror at himself, with a satisfied expression, as if he is thinking that he looks good, before picking up a picture of a woman who may be his girlfriend, or a woman that he is preparing to meet.

You can faintly hear sirens in the distance, which are usually heard when there is an emergency. These may be indicating warning, or danger. There is excitement in the air.

The next shot shows the man lowering himself into the bath, with the cooling water in this scene being a dramatic contrast to the heat and excitement previously, however the way the water seeps over the mans crotch area would be for many very sexually attractive. At the end of this commercial the text "Now available pre-shrunk" is displayed. In the past jeans would not be available pre-shrunk, and people would often sit in the bath to help mould the jeans to the shape of their bodies. As these advertisements were set around the 1950s, when jeans would not be available pre-shrunk, we assume that the man was sitting in the bath to shrink his jeans to his body.
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In this advert the image of a typical single male seems to be portrayed. The man is conventionally good looking, with a good body, and we are led to believe that he is meeting a girl. This is how a lot of young men at that time would wish to be, meaning that many viewers would believe wearing the jeans would make them more good looking, and more likely to get a woman.

Advertisement 67 shows the text "Now available stone washed" at the end, as in the past people would also often wash their jeans along ...

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