Walt Whitman Thinks You Need New Jeans
A stirring new ad campaign from Levi's.
But will it sell jeans? Hard to say. Harder in that, a few months ago, I graduated from Levi's 18-to-34-year-old target market. Who knows what floats those whippersnappers' boats these days? I've been in movie theaters when this ad played during previews, and the audience seemed transfixed—left in stunned silence when the ad faded out. But a friend says he saw it in a theater where, at the end, someone yelled, to much deflating laughter, "They're pants!"
Among those who work in advertising, there is an eternal battle between the desire to make art and the imperative to serve commerce. This 60-second film is, to me, a small artistic gem. Right up until that Levi's logo at the end.
Grade: A, for astonishing aesthetics.
Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.