The off-key karaoke singers are gone, but the "Make them your own" theme created for Levi Strauss & Co. by TBWA\Chiat\Day is returning to the airwaves this summer.
New work from the San Fran cisco agency's point man on Levi's, Chuck McBride, debuts this week with a 30-second spot, "Belly Button." The ad highlights Levi's low-cut jeans with a troupe of singing belly buttons and vocals by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who plays Tony Soprano's daughter Meadow in the HBO series The Sopranos.
The spot centers on young women dressed in Levi's Superlow jeans. When the camera cuts to their bare midriffs, the navels appear to sing the Diana Ross hit "I'm Coming Out" (via computerized effects from Oliv ier Gondry of Twisted Laboratories).
"The pants are revealing in terms of showing belly buttons, so we wanted the belly buttons to come out with style," McBride said.
The ad, targeted at young women, is set to run through mid-July; it will first appear on Fox's Ally McBeal and then run on MTV, WB and NBC. Levi's Superlow jeans launched last year and are available in the Levi's 502 and 518 styles, among others. The jeans retail from $30-80.
"The 'Belly Button' spot is a light-hearted ad that showcases Superlow jeans as a confident, sexy and fun way to make a statement," said Anna Brockway, Levi's director of mar keting. She added that the client "encouraged Sigler to put her own spin on the classic Diana Ross song."
The "Make them your own" campaign broke last fall with a series of spots that had young people singing, mostly in flat monotones, in a karaoke bar. It has since been the subject of several TV and print campaigns for Levi's and has sought to convey the fashionable quality of the jeans with an irreverent, offbeat sensibility.
"Depending on how famous this one gets, we'll go from there," said McBride.