an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Levi’s: Who Built This Country?

Posted by Rosepixie on November 18, 2009

This is an ad from a men’s magazine that’s part of a really big campaign for Levi’s.

This campaign is pretty much all ads like this – billboards, print ads and commercials.  They all feature people walking away from the camera in natural settings.  They all have an “out west” kind of feel.  I’ve seen one with a woman, but all the rest were men.  All the ones I’ve seen are white models (one might be Latino).  The quote is always the same.

This campaign has been widely criticized.  A billboard in a subway had the phrase “slaves did” added to it by someone passing by.  I must admit that this campaign made me think similar thoughts the first time I saw it.

I’m sick, so I have no additional thoughts to add to this right now.  I thought it was worth putting up here, though, and would love to hear what other people’s reactions to it are.

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2 Responses to “Levi’s: Who Built This Country?”

  1. Joe said

    Yep. “Black slaves and Chinese immigrant indentured servants” was my immediate response to the question on that billboard.

    To be fair, white men in powdered wigs also had a big role early on. None of these people wore jeans.

  2. Eva said

    It mostly strikes me as typical mass market advertising trying to appeal to men with a semi-cowboy theme. I’d imagine it plays better in the country than in the city. The lack of other races is unfortunate, but also unsurprising coming from a big company like Levi. I’m guessing that aspect actively offends fewer people in the north than in the south. 😦

    As far as appealing? Eh. The picture’s nice, but it’s pretty obviously not _for_ me. It looks like all the other jeans ads I can think of and reminds me of half the insurance and suv ads that come to mind. I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t think it’s particularly bringing anything worth while to the table and it’s definitely not bringing anything new.

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