TBWA/Chiat/Day's latest effort for Levi Strauss & Co., which breaks next month, takes a steamy and sensual approach for Red Tab jeans, according to sources.
The new campaign is a "make or break" effort for TBWA/C/D and its entire relationship with Levi, a source said. Since winning the account in early 1998, the agency has released a number of campaigns for the client, but has yet to hit on one that really resonates with the 15- to 24-year-olds that Levi so wants to please. The client is also aching to turn its jeans sales around: Last year, it suffered a 13 percent slide to around $6 billion.
The work still follows the "What's true" theme introduced by TBWA/C/D last fall (although it is not known if the tagline is retained), but there is a raw sexuality not unlike that of recent spots for Levi's Dockers from Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco. That work features men portrayed purely as sex objects by groups of women with desire in their eyes.
In one of three Red Tab spots still in production, a woman is seen walking along railroad tracks in the middle of nowhere, sources said. She takes off her jeans, and clad only in a T-shirt and panties, lays them on the tracks. A train runs over them, providing the woman with a new pair of cut-offs. Another spot, said sources, features "invisible people" clad in Levi's jeans, rolling about together, clearly in the heat of passion.
Levi executives did not return calls. A TBWA/C/D representative declined comment.