Levi’s ad causes flash of concern

Jeans giant Levi’s prides itself on its hip branding and trendy advertising through agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Last week’s IPA Society session lifted the lid on the special relationship between the two.

It emerged that Levi-Strauss Europe marketing director Martin Rippon had some interesting observations on the last Levi ad but one called Washroom. Complete with Americana, funky music, and a sexy model, the ad revolves around the classic Peeping Tom theme of a girl stripping off in front of a “blind” man who is not really blind.

The ad reminded Rippon of comic genius Benny Hill, the now deceased funny man in the flasher’s mac, to the apparent disquiet of John Hegarty, the agency’s creative guru. As BBH account planning man Jim Carroll says: “John never quite agreed with Martin’s observation that it was quite Benny Hill.”

As it happens, the ad was never screened on UK terrestrial television, instead getting an airing through satellite dishes and in cinemas. Maybe Rippon exercised the marketing director’s veto, fearing Levi’s consumers would stop buying the over-priced denims in favour of dirty old raincoats.

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