Claire Beale's Best in Show: Levi's (Bartle Bogle Hegarty)

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The Independent Online

Think of really great advertising by a brand and an agency, working together year in year out to create something fresh, different, culturally impactful over the course of, oh, a couple of decades. Not many brand advertising histories could claim that much. Levi's is one that can, with its ads from Bartle Bogle Hegarty being some of the most iconic and era-defining of their time.

Shame that the momentum has gone out of Levi's TV advertising, but the brand and its agency are back with a punch with a new set of print ads, created by Simon Veksner and Nick Allsop, that have got ad fans drooling. They're dew-fresh and beautifully shot by photographer Joseph Rodriguez and they recapture that sense that Levi's is quirky, different. Some of the ads in the series do this better than others – my favourite's got a couple of American cops staring in disdainful disbelief at...well that's for you the viewer to decide. The strapline is Originals Never Fit, so draw your own conclusions from that double meaning. In fact, the ads have generated a very healthy online debate about exactly what they mean, which, in a world of advertising blandness, is a special thing. Whether they will generate quite the same feverishness in the real world is obviously the more important issue. Probably not, but I bet they will do a fine job of nudging Levi's back towards the cool camp.

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