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Britain’s BBH Breaks Dixie-Style Levi’s Ad: Commercial Featuring Mock Funeral Will Be Shown in 22 Countries By Susannah Richmon

LONDON – Bartle Bogle Hegarty unveiled its 10th year of award-winning Levi’s commerci

The film, directed by film aficionado Michael Haussman, follows a mock funeral procession. The traditional hero, in this case top American model Ronnie Marquette, pauses to see a girl framed by a window, before burying his jeans in a grave marked by the Levi Strauss tag.
The campaign breaks Feb. 17 as part of an $11.5-million marketing support program for the brand, which has upped its spending by about $1.5 million in a bid to pounce on market share mid-recession.
The ad is the 15th in the series sparked off by ‘Launderette,’ in which model Nick Kamen stripped down to his boxers. All have been hallmarked with a classic track. The latest ad features Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ version of ‘Heart Attack and Vine,’ written by Tom Waits.
BBH has managed to evolve this Levi’s campaign over the last eight years by constantly shifting the focus and tweaking the executional style of the work. It has supported product-led commercials as well as image-building ads that use European ideas of a 1950s golden age of America.
Research in 1982 showed that the famous Levi’s 501s ‘Blues’ work would not successfully cross the Atlantic. Now BBH’s TV work is shown in virtually all the company’s markets except the U.S. and Canada. The new film will be shown in 22 different countries including war-torn Croatia.
John Hegarty, chairman/cd at BBH, wrote and art directed early executions, which helped put BBH on the map.
Susannah Richmond is assistant editor with Campaign.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)