Thursday, January 31, 2008

Our New Levi's Campaign











Copywriter: Scamp, Art Director: Scowling A.D. (contrary to what it says in Campaign).
Click to make images bigger


Very excited about these, which launch today. Scowling A.D. went to L.A. to shoot them, with a very good photographer called Joseph Rodriguez, who did a book called 'Gangs of East L.A.' that we had long admired.

What do you think?

101 comments:

The Kaiser said...

You know what? I really, really bloody like this alot. Which I find surprising. But I do all the same.

Henry Lambert said...

I like it. Is the angry dad a deliberate reference to Drugstore?

charlie g said...

nicely done. 9 points.

rjhayter said...

I like. I like rather a lot. The firing squad and the cheer leaders are the weakest I feel – the emotion is less visible on their faces. Love the Dad and the Audience. Excellent work Scamp & Scowl.

Rob Mortimer said...

What I like is that the campaign makes more sense the more executions you see.

Levis has been lacking a sense of exclusivity and identity recently, this does a good job of bringing it back.

rjhayter said...

Actually, strike that. I LOVE the audience execution. And the cops.

Rachel Clarke said...

Like them, But they definitely make more sense when seeing them together.

Roy said...

Sorry to be a nerd, but did the photographer use film or digital?

Steve h said...

Firing squad my fave - Lovely work

JEFF said...

cool stuff ! I like the cops, the college bitch and the drugstore joke and the "no product" way.

Anonymous said...

nice stuff. frameable levis posters. and love the fact that scowling AD "had" to go to LA to shoot them.

Anonymous said...

just the reverse of the wonderbra campaign that picked up at cannes last year. nice shots 8 point.
originallity 0 point.

Anonymous said...

http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/wonderbra_escalator

Anonymous said...

http://www.advertolog.com/paedia/prints/2006/08/09/190388/

pisspoorenglish said...

I like the cops photo the most and would love to see more of the work going down that slightly more serious kinda route.

For an anti-levis Howies poster, check my page ;)

Jason said...

Great work -shame that Campaign didn't quite 'get' them!

J said...

I think it's great, dude.
Cool to see you're being true to what you preach.
It doesn't really need any words.

My favorite is Prison. Absolutely love it.
In all honesty, I'm not a big fan of angry dad.
Seems a bit obvious.

But again, the rest are bloody good.
well done.

Anonymous said...

i apollogise in advance for me being stupid but...i dont get it...so please, double please enlight me what the deal with these beautifull prints, whats the message, whats the catch?????

J said...

I'll explain it:
Originals never fit.

Mr Purple said...

Scamp, first up... love them. Good Job, I'm jealous.

So could you give us a little back drop on the 'audience' one though. I can't work out what's happened?

Keep it up though. You're on track to take my place!

the harris said...

its a play on the word "originals' - original people don't normally fit into society. i.e people who are prepared to stand up and speak out against authority while others are too scared, often end up facing firing squad in some countrys.

thats the way i see it anyway. hope i'm right.

i found them quite easy to get. i really like them.

Anonymous said...

isn't it that everyone's trollies have fallen down (hence the 'don't fit' part of the line), and the shots are simply people's reactions to them.
Therefore, I think the audience one works best.
The firing squad's a little harsh though.

Anonymous said...

Now that's an endline. Like the firing squad best. The rest does kinda remind me of the wonderbra ads, to be fair...

c.clark said...

What's not to get!!!? But i agree with Mr Purple, where dos the audience one fit in? Do i believe it.

Anonymous said...

these are, to use one of your quaint English expressions, just up their own arse enough. and it really hangs together nicely as a campaign so i'd imagine the cumulative effect in the real world will be really powerful.

i smell silver d&ad nomination. but because you have the temerity to be a famous blogger it will be in the advertising crafts (photography) category. sorry.

Anonymous said...

Don't get the audience or the cheerleader one, unless anon 3.09pm is right.

Anonymous said...

i can smell lunur bbdo getting their tongues ready

Jon Howard said...

Nice. Personal preference - I like the ones that feel like real responses in the real world (Cops, Cheerleaders, Dad, Prison) to the ones that feel a bit more staged (Firing Squad and Audience). Makes the 'be original' thought seem more rooted and less ad-y

Anonymous said...

re. anon 3.09
is it a federal offence to de-bag? If so, the cop one's brilliant. But yes, firing squad may have taken it an ad too far.
The father execution feels good - I'd be worried if I opened the door to my daughters boyfriend with his jeans around his ankles.

Anonymous said...

i like the story behind the being shot one, about a bloke that couldn't afford a pair of jeans and had to make do with some levis from the local red cross centre and having not eaten for a while was only a size 28 waist and the jeans being a 32 waist kept falling down. which lead to him accidently exposing him self in public and then being shot.

i find the old man one a little more difficult to get. is the old man giving him the come to bed eyes because the levis dont fit around his cruch properly so he can see his bulging sausage and is getting his ticker racing?

Anonymous said...

I brought a pair of originals the other day.
I was in a hurry, so didn't have the time or inclination to try them on.
However, when I got home, they 'didn't fit'.
I took them back to the Levi's store, and they very kindly exchanged them for a pair that did.
No sign of any firing squads though... phew!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a Brit/American thing, but I would have added "in" to the tagline so it read "Originals never fit in." The first time I saw them, I took it to mean that the jeans don't fit, which leads to people looking at you funny. Okay, I'm going to take off my "client hat" now. Nice, simple campaign.

BennyW said...

Love it. More so than the chicken ad. Well done chaps.

A Fan said...

(I know in a way it's both an insult and a praise)
But this is the best work you've ever done, mate.

Anonymous said...

That certainly is a clienty move, 4:15 - taking a campaign thought based on a double meaning and removing one of the meanings.

Or, as it's called aound these parts, missing the point.

Anonymous said...

Don't like it. Images all feel like cliches to me. The audience one looks like a stock shot. Overreaches to make its point.

Anonymous said...

Dear 4:26, around here we call it "sarcasm."

XO, 4:15 ;)

lunarbbdoonannoyingfrenchkeyboard said...

Tongue happily out and lapping away. Iconic shots and a brilliant line. And I,m not just saying that because you were so nice in the last post. By the way I,m trying to type this on q French keyboqrd. Where,s the fucking apostrophe and why does the full stop need q shift and where,s the question mark§

Gordon Comstock said...

These are really good aren't they. And defensible from the "Wonderbra" schtick because they're not just about people looking at you, but who is looking at you, and how they're looking at you. The broader executions say something really true about what it means to be original.

For the theatre one - I saw Iggy Pop play the Royal Festival Hall. The first thing he did was stage dive the front two rows. It's a seated auditorium.

Mike said...

I like these. But - and I know it's a cliché thing to say - but why in God's name did someone have to go all the way to LA to shoot pictures without any LA in them?

Okay, you like the photographer, but I don't see any reason why a good UK photographer couldn't have shot these over here and saved a little bundle for the client. Seems daft to me.

Nice idea though.

dangermain said...

My gut reaction was that these are great. I love the dad (I'm a sucker for a nice bit of knitwear) and the cops. They might not make me buy jeans, but they take Levis back to a good place.

Hayes Thompson said...

Awesome, dude!

john dodds said...

I like them and not just because they're print ads with a headline. Especially the cheerleader one which taps right into the fashion v style message.

f.m. said...

brand voice, check. good shit.

f.m. said...

brand voice, check. good shit.

Wrong Side Of The Tracks said...

Great images. Nice photography. But this is a Levis campaign that doesn't sell me any jeans. What happened to those great BBH Levis campaigns that were iconic AND featured the product? I miss them.

Anonymous said...

scamp can't control the zeitgeist. Showing jeans isn't badass. Its fashion dahling!

Anonymous said...

@mike 7.27,

he went to LA because he had to. because that's where the cultural texture is man. it's not in nottingham. can't be found there.

plus, the sushi in L.A. just rocks! so...your question was...i completely blanked on your question!

omg!

Anonymous said...

i thought the firing squad one was the best. but then i would, I'M IRISH!!!

SFX: LONG, AWKWARD IRA-NOT-SURE-TO-REACT-TO-IRISH-COWORKER'S SILENCE

Anonymous said...

I work at the BBH BY office, not in London. Great job in this campaign - well done!

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I work in a BBDO office 2000 km away from you. Our planners used a lot of Levi’s work for an example how you should not do ads. I remember when ODYSSEY came out we had a small war about it. The creative loved it, the account hated it. One of the planners (and he was English ;-) said “Let’s people who love the ad raise their hands”- 90% of people I like did.
Personally…I raised my both hands and a leg. Than the planner said “Now let’s the people that actually wear Levi’s raise their hands” … Well, ironically he was the only one in Levi's jeans.

Today I put my brand new pair of Levi’s because I wanted to say: I like this campaign, and if I can I’ll probably put the firing squad on a big poster behind my back in the office. :-)))

]-[appy Thought said...

I'm a fan of all of them apart from the firing squad one. I like the idea of not fittinga lot, I'm surprised it hasnt been done before actually!

Being rejected, misunderstood and ignored by the mainstream is cool, getting shot isn't, so 5 out of 6 from me.

Anonymous said...

It's the look on the dad's face in drugstore done five times.
which works if levi's are cool.
but not if they're the jeans your uncle wears.

Rob Mortimer said...

Levi's have always been uncle jeans, but somehow managed to keep their sense of uniqueness through great ads and brand strategy (including creating niche' sub brands).

Wrong Side Of The Tracks said...

"scamp can't control the zeitgeist. Showing jeans isn't badass. Its fashion dahling!" LOL I'm not talking about 'showing' jeans though, I'm talking about making ads that feature the product. 'not showing the product' certainly ain't cool - and it's sure not fashion daaahling - it's just a bad MAA (mainstream ad agency) hangover from the 90's "it's not cooool to show the product man". Iconic campaigns where the product is intrinsic to the execution is the holy grail of advertising - everything else is just slightly less good. But I do fully understand the modern pressure to do the work that is seen to be D&AD friendly. Be brave people.

Anonymous said...

uh, it is fashion darling. and who needs to see a pair of levis? how is that remotely exciting?

just so you know, there are no rules. hope that fundamental tip helps.

Anonymous said...

i like your other cops ad better.

Wrong Side Of The Tracks said...

Hey of course there's no ruuuuuuules dude. That would be plain stupid (thanks anyway though :-) ).
I'm just giving my o-pinion on what makes for better advertising. The advertising world being what this blog is about, unless I'm very much mistaken.
Keep up the good blogging work scamp. And fair play for sticking up your own work and asking what people think.

Anonymous said...

and I prefered your echo beach ad.

FishNChimps said...

Typical high-quality work I'd expect from BBH. Just wait for the usual numpties to complain to the ASA about the firing squad, though.

Jay-can said...

Love the photos but I don't get the concept. Had to think about it alot longer than I think you should for an ad.

Anonymous said...

even after reading some of the explanations, i still do not get this campaign at all. what exactly is the point? what are we supposed to think these people are looking at? the line 'originals never fit' means what exactly in the context of these ads?

Anonymous said...

my originals fit fine.

Anonymous said...

you're supposed to have to think about it. i think. people are way-overanalyzing this btw.

love that photographer too. you should check out "bastards of the party", a documentary about the origins of crips and bloods in LA. it was directed by a Blood who wound up working as a an assistant to Haskell Wexler, who shot it. the real inside story. utterly fascinating.

paul-daniel said...

What I got from this ad was a play on origionals being quite tight, and also... origional people don't fit into the norm... hence the menacing dad lookin out for his daughter. I guess you do have to think and it's not so instant, but it sticks in your head.

Michael Gross said...

Great! Really great!

Anonymous said...

I think they are beautiful shots. They work with the line.
Are they nice ads? Certainly.
Are they going to flog jeans to 16 years old? Certainly not.
But as long as we, advertising chaps in our 30s like the ads, I'm sure Levi's will be doing fine...

TheQueenMum said...

I've just seen the theatre shot in a magazine. A bit broad, isn't it? Did the photographer say, 'Look shocked and/or disgusted as if you are in a shitty pantomime?' The others seem to be nice, though. Reminds me of those Rosie Arnold ones in the '94 book that show the kind of people who wouldn't wear Levi's being rude about them. But cooler.

George Parker said...

Scamp...
You really should explain to those people who ask why the AD had to go to LA to shoot these with a California photogrer, was 'cos he could get away with it. Just like shooting American Ditzo cheerleaders made sense for UK schools where everyone wears a uniform and they all look alike... Apart from the tattos, piercing and freaky hair... But that's what advertising is all about... The fucking Art Directors get to go to the exotic locations... And the writers like you... Get to stay home and write their fucking blog. Jesus, do I have to explain everything all the time?
Cheers/George

Amelia said...

Really like these - beautifully shot and gets the message across beautifully. I guess that liking the USA is back in fashion again...

Scamp said...

Levi's 'American-ness' is a core part of its brand image.

Going to America and using an American photographer ensured we had authentic American locations, props, wardrobe, cast and performances.

And if Scowling A.D. had to visit a few of LA's clubs and bars, well, that's a sacrifice we in advertising have to be willing to make.

Paul said...

One of the better print campaigns around. The one you should not have made is the disaproving Dad - far too similar to Drugstore imo.

Anonymous said...

The idea seems pretty clear to me - the conformist people in the ads are 'rejecting' the original person that they are looking at.

e.g. we the reader are the person who has just turned up on the doorstep to take the dad's girl out, and because we are so original, the dad isn't too happy about seeing us there. In each case it is conventional people looking at us (the camera) in a sneering or aloof way.

So we are in prison, about to take the girl out, being rejected by the cheerleaders.

If I were BBH I would be worried that there are so many dumbasses out there who have completed misunderstood the campaign - many of them probably in some connected with the ad industry and posting on this board!

Unfortunately most people who see these ads will think that the people in the ads are supposed to be the originals, and that they are the supposed to be the face of Levi's.

Anonymous said...

i get the campaign idea:
in the 1950s (50 yrs ago) levi's were cool in america.
seems a bit irrelevant dunnit?

Anonymous said...

This campaing is absolutely great!! love the idea love the images. 9 points.

Jane Sample said...

I will admit that it took me a while to "get it". I like the concept and I hope it works out for them.

But would it have KILLED them to add a "in" to the copy - "originals never fit in". The missing "in" annoys me. Without the "in" I feel like there is something left undone with the copy and like I'm waiting for it. That's my own personal preference though.

wrong side of the tracks said...

ah but that's the beauty of ad writing isn't it? It's not always the grammatically perfect line that's the most powerful and memorable - quite the opposite in fact. The fact that it niggles at the brain makes it stick. Just like a nice bit of 'graphic tension' in a layout. Think different-ly.

Anonymous said...

Great photography, but the campaign is very familiar.

Especially for the angry dad - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj6G1C6c0uw

I don't get the prison ad, firing squad, audience or cops executions.

But the clichéd dad and cheerleader ads work.

A - London

Rob Mortimer said...

But if you say "Originals never fit in" then it loses relevance to the product. The double meaning goes.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that the flaw with these ads? The double meaning of not fitting is a negative about the product, who wants clothes that don’t fit?

Farqueson - Bagration said...

Advertising is subjective isn't it? It's best to judge ads by who wrote them and what agency they came from.

slamd said...

like most of the shots - esp. the prison one - but the tag line sucks. When I think of the "original" jeans, it's Levi's. "Originals never fit" means to me that Levi's never fit. Unless you're going for the double entendre that to be original you can't be comfortable but I doubt that concept could be sold or your copywriter is that brilliant.

jamesgordonmacIntosh said...

Like them ... a lot. And I think that the firing squad execution is a strong one.

Bloody effective, arresting and just gets it - one of those lovely pieces of work that actually rewards you for thinking for a second about it.

Nice work indeed. A homage on Spinning Around will follow ...

jamesgordonmacIntosh said...

Dagnammit ... meant to ask ...

Was the intention in the strapline to suggest that original folks wear Levis - thereby acknowledging that they are no longer the norm and have rather lost that mantle?

Or is that just my reading?

Anonymous said...

Great article about the campaign in today's Independent.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/claire-beales-best-in-show-levis-bartle-bogle-hegarty-780062.html

Cedric said...

By the way the new Wonderbra campaign is out... Zeitgeist!!!
http://www.frederiksamuel.com/blog/2008/02/wonderbra-6.html

I like the reference to the previous TV campaigns. It add another layer to the communication. Great job.

Anonymous said...

Shows a distinct lack of original thinking. You can't just nick the wonderbra ads and put a different logo on it.
I'm afraid, despite hiring a very talented photographer these are just 'pants' (pun intended)

Scamp said...

Sorry you think they're pants.

But I don't agree that Wonderbra 'owns' 1st person POV.

That's like saying someone owns black & white, or analogies, or pictures of babies or something.

Anonymous said...

They're not pants, but you can't get away from the wonderbra comparisons I'm afraid. If you put the wonderbra name on these they'd feel like part of their campaign. If you'd done this campaign working at an agency like Ogilvy you'd be getting ripped to shreds by now.

Scamp said...

A woman wearing a Wonderbra would face a firing squad because...?

Or get put in prison because...?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking more about the other four

Scamp said...

But the expressions on their faces are just not the expressions of people looking at large breasts, are they?

Would cops look threateningly at a woman with large breasts? I don't think so.

I've agreed that the ads share the 1st person perspective, but because of the people's reactions, I don't accept that they could fit into the wonderbra campaign.

Anonymous said...

Great ads. Is "Originals Never Fit" meant to have a double meaning about having to shrink them to fit after you buy 'em?

Levis said...

Great campaign!!! REaly love this work...

reptile said...

Great stuff; very fresh. Caught it today in Campaign.

Odyssey, Ice Cream Man & "Ransom Mice" have been personal favourites. Can keep seeing them and enjoying them over & over. And if you'd excuse my plannerliness, i even wear 'em. Good strategy work on Levi's as well. Alleviates the "uncle factor" imho.

Can't wait to see you guys in this country. Be good to finally have some real competition.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what the big deal is. I've seen this concept a million times, in Archive, CA, One Show--i.e., authority figures just SHOCKED TO DEATH by the SHOCKING PRODUCT. It's a campaign created for advertising people who are really into kissing their own asses and will probably not up the product's sales in the least.

reptile said...

So easy to slag off. So difficult to do.

Does a brand like LS even need to show conventional product anymore? Or is the work good enough to display it anyway. (Odyssey, for instance) Does the advertising need to be obvious? And then, would it then be advertising anymore?

Good brave work that's refreshing to see; you can't possibly share the brief that led to it, can you now?

Another nutty request; but is there a way to write for mobile? Given the way it's taken off in some places..

PR said...

excelent.

Levi's shouldn't be about fashion - there are too many competitors in that area -being a rebel is much more coherent with the brand's past.


loved it.

Hayes Thompson said...

Hey Scamp,

I have the idea for the radio execution for this campaign.

If you're interested to hear it, please contact me.

Hayes

luggage said...

Anonymous above who gave it 0 points for originality really needs their head checked. These are classic. I really love these, I think they're brilliant. The look on everyone's faces is brilliant. I actually liked the cheerleaders one, as it says something about the fact that Levi's doesn't fit into the preppy fashion culture but rather has its own identity. I think it actually carried a good message off.

Ego Trippin said...

The campaign is not as exciting as the vintage "Loose," "Girls," and "Regular" press ads done at BBH. (Which you can see on photographer Eugene Richard's Web site in the advertising section.) And the ads have a stock photography feeling which, while fitting, feels somewhat dated and, ironically, unoriginal. (But maybe the dated look and feel is the point?)

In any case, I do like the POV idea all the same.