The camera cuts to a c/u of his rear pocket to reinforce the style of the jeans. He begins to undo his belt, which would be shocking to the audience at that time. It was an unusual action. This is inter-cut with a contrast shot of a stereotypical man, who has no appeal and contrasts directly with Kamon. (Levi Strauss). Western iconography is emphasised with the removal of Kamon’s belt like a whip. This adds strength and control, masculine connotations as well as tension, excitement and sex appeal. We have a c/u of buttons being undone almost like a striptease.
The camera cuts to a 2 shot of a woman and girl giggling stereotypically. Quickly it cuts to a full shot of Kamon. Every woman watching longs for a man like him. People will begin to see laundrettes from a different point of view. The colours used throughout are masculine, blues, whites and greys that fit in with the Levis iconography. All types of women have turned their gaze on him. Reduced to boxer shorts he casually takes out a newspaper and sits beside the stunned girls and an older, less appealing man as if his actions were normal.
Kamon naturally became an icon overnight. His character was bold and outrageous. Teenagers and twenty something’s shouted out for Levis. Orders for their most expensive jeans, 501s were up by 800% in 2 years. Advertising made Levi’s jeans an essential part of the 80s wardrobe for both males and females. The soundtrack HEARD IT ON THE GRAPEVINE soared up the charts and boxer shorts experienced a revival. Its appeal was bigger than expected. Adverts from now on used similar techniques to attract viewers with the male occupying the central focus of the audience’s viewpoint.
It was realised that selling jeans has very little to do with what the jeans looked like. It had more to do with the characteristic of cool which surrounds them i. e. another advert showed an actor getting into the bath with only his Levis jeans on. The connotation to an unusual act is that they are skin-like, tailored to your body shape, increasing their popularity. A much later advert for Levis was again produced in a realistic way to promote 501s the ‘Antifit’ look.
The script entails a young trendy couple in casual loose fitting Levis. They represent the chic, modern couple, each accessorises the other in their ‘of the moment jeans’. They meet an old friend wearing shades, tight jeans and challenge him on his appearance. In contrast he looks, like the women in the earlier advertisement. In the late 90s Levis, inspired by a yellow puppet created an unusual advert that would promote flat press products. The scene depicts a male driving along in an ordinary style with his companion, a yellow puppet.
They drive and move to the beat not noticing the policeman behind them who pulls their car in. The puppet personifying itself gets his driving license out as well as a picture of his self and changes the soundtrack. In this way they reassure the policeman that they are bone-fide travellers and are sent away with a caution. When this ad was previewed on the internet in a ten second tease and showed a flat pack of ERIC the puppet, many dot. com users were interested and began sending their own version of the ad to their friends.
They created one of the most successful and cheapest campaigns. The soundtrack went to number 1 and the sales of flat press went up 40%. A recent Levis 501 ad is located in a fast food outlet and relies on the appeal of the relationship/ communication between the young female attendant and the customer. Emphasis is on realism as it is difficult to make out exactly what is being said and fits in with the anti-advertising and the anti-fit style of the jeans. This coupled with humour is used to promote the everlasting appeal of 501s.
Once more the name of the product is only endorsed in the final shot which reveals the brands familiar logo. It is clear to see that advertising is an essential part of a day-to-day consumerist society and is an effective way of informing consumers about new products and services. Some criticism directed at advertising is that it creates false hopes and expectations, plays on our insecurities and promotes unrealistic and dangerous role models. At best it provides humour and escapism.