The first hyperlink inserted in this analysis is the Levi’s commercial that we watched in class. It is titled “Oh Pioneers! Go Forth” and while Levi jeans are shown throughout the video, they are not the main focus. While in some commercials, advertisers make their product the center of attention, Levi has always been good at making their products stand out in a way that doesn’t annoy the consumer by pounding the name into the mind, but instead by capturing their attention and becoming something they remember in the future, long after the advertisement is gone.
I chose to analyze Levi commercials because, while we covered “Oh Pioneers!” briefly in class, I believe there is more to the Levi commercials than some might see on the surface. Why? Maybe it is because the commercials stick. I can’t speak for anyone else in the classroom, but for me, of all the commercials we have watched in the past few weeks, I find myself walking around quoting, “Pioneers, Oh Pioneers…” Why is this? Is it because I wear Levi’s? Or maybe it is because I enjoy quotes and poems by Walt Whitman? What is it about Levi commercials that make them stay with the viewer?
Levi commercials linger in the consumers mind long after the television is turned off because they make an emotional appeal. I didn’t have always wear Levi’s, but after buying my first pair in high school, they soon became my favorite jeans. They fit comfortably, lasted a long time and came in just about every wash I could think to need. I grew up in the rural outskirts of the Saint Louis area, so Friday night football games, horseback riding and late-night bonfires all called for a good pair of comfy blue jeans. And Levi’s were my jeans of choice. When I see a commercial like “Oh Pioneers!” that captures my personal emotions of running through the fields, dancing around a fire and driving down back roads, I have a stronger emotional attachment to the product, especially when it is an item that I do like.
Along with having a great emotional appeal, I love the “look” that Levi uses. I’m a very visual person, and their design, color and aesthetics really grab my attention. They use warm tones, good-looking college-aged actors, and create a real movie-like sense in each one of their commercials. It isn’t only about buying the product, it is about buying the moment, the feeling you get when you are wearing their jeans. A commercial I can think to relate this to would be the Smirnoff commercial that we watched in class. When a person is in a setting, such as at a party or a bonfire, they want to really feel the moment. Products like Levi and Smirnoff are trying to “sell” those moments by convincing consumers that if they purchase their products, they will be putting the finishing touches on those moments. They create commercials that convince the customer that their product can take them from a good time to an unforgettable evening.
The second commercial I hyperlinked into my analysis addresses another aspect of emotion that Levi, among thousands of other products in today’s market, tries to sell. That product is sex. In this particular commercial, the two, very young individuals are asking if the other is ready and if it is their “first time”. To most, the “first time” implies the first sexual encounter with another individual. We are lead by this sexual idea until the young couple is standing on the edge of a cliff, in their lingerie, holding hands, and getting ready to jump. Most Levi commercials are entirely sexual in nature, without being outright sexual. The “Oh Pioneers!” commercial has two guys starting to get busy in what looks to be a photo booth, shirts are taken off, bodies are pressed together and individuals are wet. In the final “banned” commercial that I attached, the woman on the run rushes into the men’s restroom and only after she believes the man sitting with the walking stick to be blind does she change her appearance and then in a very temptress-like way, walks over to the “blind” man and slowly buttons her jeans up. All of these commercials have very sexual underlying tones.
Even Levi magazine advertisements, seen in hyperlinks four and five, have half undressed individuals. The woman is strutting through a field in only her Levi’s with no top and only a muddy print on her bottom to bring your focus to her jeans with a quote that says, “All I Need Is All I Got”. The final link has two advertisements in it; the first is the “Live Unbuttoned” ad for when Levi introduced the button fly jeans that has a very nice looking, half naked man just awkwardly hanging from a bridge. I wonder how many girls ran out and bought the “tough as steel, long lasting” jeans for their boyfriends. The final ad is for the “Cling Fits” ads to show that the jeans fit both men and women. It uses the form of a woman lying on a man to show the “perfect fit” model.
Levi also places “care tags” on it’s products all over the world. They list the instructions as “Wash Cold. Line Dry. Donate When No Longer Needed.” I believe this is a big selling point, as well, because they are selling a buying habit. They are selling to those who wear clothes for a season and then donate them to charities. Everyone appreciates quality that holds up to its name and Levi has proven to do that time after time. There is not only a sense of care for the environment in the recycle products, but also for those who cannot afford the jeans at new costs.
Personally, while I am sometimes appalled at the sexual undertones that I see in Levi commercials, I am still a big fan of the jeans and the company’s advertisements. While I may not agree with all of the content that they place into their ads, I do believe that they get their point across, showing that they create a product that lasts by creating an advertisement that sticks.
A few more Levi advertisements that I enjoyed: