Good Job, Levi’s: An Ad Campaign That Doesn’t Make Me Wanna Scream

I’m channeling my inner Stephen Colbert to offer a “tip of the hat” to Levi’s for advertisements that don’t make us wanna scream and pull our hair out. Walking to work this morning, I saw two print ads from their summer campaign that I just love. One depicts a man and a small child, presumably a father and son, and reads, “Everybody’s work is equally important.” The other depicts an older man standing with a young woman and a young man, with the same tag line. Wow, I thought. How cool that a clothing company would make such a progressive statement about gender?According to Levi’s, the “Go Forth” campaign zeroes in on the revitalization of Braddock, Pennsylvania, an economically depressed former factory town. Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie built his first mill there and Braddock swelled in size; however, as the steel industry declined, the population dropped from 20,000 to 3,000. Clearly, Levi’s is playing on the history of denim as a blue-collar working person’s uniform.

Perhaps the ads are trying to make a sociological statement, too. Regarding the ad depicting the man and boy, I thought it was saying that parenthood really is legitimate work. Similarly, with the ad depicting the young woman and the two men, I assumed it was saying that “women’s work” is just as important as “men’s work.” Perhaps the older man was supposed to illustrate the older generations that didn’t always believe that.

Anyway, the Women’s Studies 101 essay is over. The point is: I like your ads, Levi’s.


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