TBWA\C\D Sets New Levi’s Work

The off-key karaoke singers have departed, but TBWA\Chiat\Day’s “Make them your own” theme for Levi Strauss & Co. returns this summer.

New work from the San Francisco agency and its point man on Levi’s, Chuck McBride, debuts this week with a 30-second spot titled “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 in Levi’s Superlow jeans. As the camera focuses in on their bare midriffs, the navels appear to be singing the Diana Ross hit “I’m Coming Out.” The computerized special effects were created by Olivier 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, breaks this week and will run through mid-July. It will first appear on the Fox show Ally McBeal and then air on MTV, the WB and NBC.

Levi’s Superlow jeans, launched last year, are available in the Levi’s 502, button-fly, straight-leg and 518 styles, among others. They retail from $30-80.

“The ‘Belly Button’ spot is a lighthearted ad that showcases Superlow jeans as a confident, sexy and fun way to make a statement,” said Anna Brockway, Levi’s director of marketing. 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, frequently in flat monotones, in a karaoke bar.

It has continued with several TV and print campaigns that have sought to convey the fashionable quality of the jeans with an irreverent, offbeat sensibility.

Of the singing belly button ad, McBride said, “Depending on how famous this one gets, we’ll go from there.”