Levi Strauss has abandoned its ’boy meets girl’ advertising formula
in favour of a surreal approach in a new series of commercials through
Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
The campaign, which breaks on 13 August, consists of two ten-second, a
20-second and a 30-second commercial, none of which features a pair of
Levi’s. Instead, each execution focuses on the brand’s new concept,
’expect the unexpected’.
The most bizarre of the commercials features a hamster playing on a
wheel in a cage. ’Kevin’, the voiceover explains, was very happy running
in his wheel until it broke. Viewers are informed that Kevin finally
died of boredom, before a hand appears in the cage and pushes the dead
The other films feature a young boy hammering a square peg into a round
hole; a middle-aged man who looks very boring but, in fact, has six
wives; and a half-naked male who walks through a shopping mall wearing
only a Levi’s hooded sweatshirt.
Three of the executions will run on network ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5
and selected satellite stations, heavily targeting weekend viewers. They
will also appear at major music festivals in August. The ’mall’
commercial will be shown at cinemas.
The TV campaign will be supported by a series of six print ads in the
style press and on poster sites, including a complete platform at Oxford
Circus tube station.
Shot by the cult photographer, Nadav Kander, the executions focus on the
range of Levi’s products and capture ’snap-shots’ of people behaving
The television campaign was written by Rob Jack and art directed by Paul
Shearer. ’Hamster’ and ’wives’ were directed by Doug Nichol through
Partizan Midi Minuit. ’Square peg’ and ’mall’ were directed by Gore
Verbinski through Propaganda Films. ’Mall’ was written by Roger Beckett
and art directed by Andy Smart.
Media for the campaign is being planned and bought in the UK by Motive.