Saturday, October 04, 2008

Levi Strauss Ad Targets the Crude Dude

Blue jean ad campaign 'Unbutton Your Beast' pins Richter scale of overtly sexual advertisements specifically directed to adolescent boys

-- From "Drudge tries to whip out backlash against Levi's" posted by Maria Russo at the L.A. Times 10/1/08

Write Levi Strauss to express your concern for young people.

Drudge readers this morning were greeted with news of controversy over a viral web ad called "Unbutton Your Beast" released last night by ad agency EVB for Levi's. It's part of the "Unbutton Yourself" campaign, and it features the crotch of a pair of buttoned Levi's, at first displaying a substantial bulge that dances around behind the zipper. A few seconds later, one of several tricked-out, phallic puppets emerge -- "Trout Troutman," "Paul the Pincher" (a crab claw), and more. Each does a little song and dance if you click, or you can record your own words to put in the puppet's "mouth" before you send it on to your friends.

The creative director of EVB, Lauren Harwell, who was the art director on the project, has not heard of any complaints. "We didn't think it would make people angry, because what comes out of the pants is so silly," she said on the phone from the agency's San Francisco office. The ad won't have a print or TV equivalent -- it's just meant to be emailed around. "It's geared toward 15 to 20 year old guys," as the "viral component" of the larger campaign.

To read the entire post, CLICK HERE.

Below is the "form letter" response from Levi's, sent from Cassandra, Levi Strauss & Co. [casara3375598 Levi-MBXLevis]

Thanks for contacting us at Levi Strauss & Co.

We appreciate your comments about our "Unbutton Your Beast" digital initiative.

With this campaign, our intent is to connect with a younger male audience and re-introduce them to our global 501(r) button-fly jeans. Sometimes, we miss the mark and sincerely apologize if you feel this is one of
those times.

Thanks again for letting us know your comments and concerns. We will definitely pass them on to our marketing and advertising colleagues who pay close attention to consumer feedback.

Please feel free to contact us again if we can be of further assistance. Just email us back, or call us at 1-800-USA-LEVI. We're available Monday - Friday, 6:00am - 4:30pm Pacific Time.