CLOSE-UP: LIVE ISSUE/LEVI'S - Levi's wants the net, print and outdoor to develop its latest TV ad

The launch of a new Levi's campaign is always a bit of an event. Bartle Bogle Hegarty's recent ads "twisted", "rub" and "odyssey" were all critically acclaimed, so its new execution - "best of new breed" - was eagerly awaited.

The Michel Gondry-directed ad, which reportedly cost a whopping £2.5 million to make, features a cast of half-human, half-mouse characters who kidnap a cat and successfully blackmail its owner for ransom money.

The idea is expressed with the highest levels of technical competence, and the results have already generated miles of column inches.

However, this time round, the TV slot only tells half the story. The ad is part of a multi-disciplined launch campaign for Levi's new Type 1 range. The company is therefore very keen that the strangeness of the TV ad doesn't obscure the selling points of its new product.

To that end, much of the focus of the ad is on the product's design features - the indigo denim, exaggerated buttons, rivets, stitching and patch icons.

The non-TV executions follow this lead, expanding on the TV work instead of merely replicating it.

A static campaign is being rolled out across Europe, using print, six-sheet posters and cross tracks. The work features silhouettes of models created from the stitching of the jeans, jackets or hot pants that they're wearing. According to Levi's, the aim of this work is to "highlight the distinctiveness of the new range, while retaining the attitude and sexiness of the human form" by distilling the product down to its defining elements.

This effect is made more dramatic on the mega-sites that have been erected in Italy, and will probably feature in the UK campaign.

Derek Robson, BBH's business director for Levis, says: "The static work was a simple idea to show the drama in the product. It was important that we didn't mirror the TV work in print. Our previous print and poster work had matched the TV executions a bit too well and didn't give another perspective.

"For this campaign, we're letting print do what print does best. I think this is some of the best print work we've ever done for Levi's. However, the TV work is all anyone ever wants to talk about."

The silhouette idea is fused with the mouse-hybrid theme for the point-of-sale work. The campaign also has a large digital element - a bespoke Levi's Type 1 Jeans website,, allows visitors to download screensavers, play the ad soundtrack, view the making of the ad, locate stores and get full product details.

Levi's is by no means the first high-street advertiser to take a multi-disciplined approach to a product launch. However, the Type 1 campaign shows that the advertiser is not content to rely solely on high-profile TV campaigns and that it's prepared to look to supporting material to ensure that product benefits are not lost on the public.

However, don't expect this to be the start of a gradual move by Levi's away from TV. The pressure on all involved to produce more ambitious and unusual TV executions is greater than ever.

Robson explains: "With Levi's campaigns, you're not competing with other youth brands, you're competing with your past. If you do one ad that isn't good, you're going to know about it quickly."