Magazine article Marketing

50 Years of Fame: Brandfame - Levi's

Magazine article Marketing

50 Years of Fame: Brandfame - Levi's

Article excerpt

Nestled somewhere in the subconscious of women in their 30s is a memory that can be recalled in a heartbeat: in a 50s launderette, Marvin Gaye's Heard it Through the Grapevine is playing and Nick Kamen has stripped down to his white boxer shorts.

Levi Strauss has been advertising on ITV since the early 60s, but it was not until a new wave of advertising, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty for Levi's 501 jeans in the mid-80s, that its campaigns became part of advertising folklore.

The ads, which burst onto screens on Boxing Day in 1985, have been mimicked by other advertisers and spawned 16 top 20 singles in all, seven of them going to number one.

Levi's TV activity is intimately intertwined with the company's fortunes.

Back in 1985 it was encountering poor sales in a stagnant jeans market.

The company's response was to return to its roots, and the linchpin of this was the relaunch of the 501s - the original fly-button jean.

By the end of 1986 Levi's revolutionary TV ads had boosted sales of 501s by 800%, shifting 800,000 pairs in the UK. Today Levi's sales are the envy of its rivals. Last year European sales reached dollars 1.42bn (pounds 790m), dollars 920m (pounds 511m) of that accounted for by its classic Levi's brand. …

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