Why in your opinion, was the Levi Strauss 501 campaign so successful?
The Levi Strauss 501 advertising campaign was so successful in 1984-1990 as it attracted the typical American teens selling independence, sexuality and physical good looks, representing the perfect figure and body. It illustrated a complete lifestyle to the teenagers world. Admiring the fantasy of idols James Dean and Marlon Brando, all connecting to the Levi guys (jeans) in the adverts, giving the impression of a sensual, healthy radiant aspect, to the gazed audience. Falling for the act, teens still continued to buy the different types of jeans, whilst new ideas were being designed. People realise now it was just a pretence illusion. Although these shams still occur in adverts today.
In the advert ‘The Launderette’, it begins straight away with music, then a view of a Korean soldier standing outside, indicating the war had just ended. He’s put there as a parallel to the Levi guy, he’s not as laid back! At first the camera doesn’t focus on the Levi guy’s face, giving mystery and intrigue to the viewers. Entering into the steamy launderette, everyone turns and stares. Staring is the usual old, slob-like husband, one hand holds a cigar, whilst in the other sits a beefy, dripping hamburger! Noticing his entry, the Levi guy slyly removes his cool sunglasses, revealing his smiling face. With the dark, slick back hair, a dream to every girl. Dull lighting among the other customers symbolizing their shallow lives, whilst innocently he places his clothes into the machine . Unusually he puts stones into the machine along with his
clothes, thinking nothing of the matter. Glaring at him is the average housewife with her children observing closely.
Sliding his jeans off, there is a close up on his backside- revealing the one and only red Levi tab, showing they are nicely fitted, encouraging the opposite sex. Steam evaporates around him, sexuality diffuses in the area. Red, white and blue colours surround the launderette corresponding to the American flag- the jeans belong to America! All attention on him, he turns round in white boxer shorts, attracting people to buy them and causing his brown, toned body to glisten. Typical, normal girls, giggle
together, as he sits down in the middle of the waiting seats. Above him a bright orange border encloses him. Expressing his delightful, healthy life. Where as the stereotypes around him have dull, grey borders girdling them.
As in every advert, it finishes with the camera shot on 501 jeans, and always gives an appropriate slogan. This particular one reads ‘Now available stonewashed!’ Relating back to when he places the stones in the machine to be washed. Each storyline in the commercials have an unpredictable ending. The adverts kept changing, the colour of the jeans changed from blue to black. They purposely did this to make more money because since World War 11, people had more wealth. The teens had to be in with the latest fashion.