What Types of Male Characteristics Are Demonstrated By the Levi 501 Male ‘Heroes’ in the Campaign 1984-1990? Levi’s began to manufacture jeans around the 1870s, and jeans were originally working men’s clothing, before they were associated with cowboys and the idea of freedom. During the 1950s people aged 13 – 19 became known as teenagers, prior to this people were all either children or adults. Jeans became popular clothes for teenagers because they were seen as a sign of rebellion against parents and authority.
During the early 80s, jeans suddenly became unfashionable. So in the mid 80s Levi’s hired a highly successful advertising company called Bartle, Bogle ; Hegarty, who with a series of adverts turned around the situation, resulting in the sales of Levi’s jeans rising 4 fold. The adverts in the campaign display certain types of male characteristics by the Levi 501 Male ‘Heroes’, such as his looks, success with women, power, rebellion, how he treats others and how him is also treated.
Advertisement 66 (bath) features a young man in a New York City apartment who wears the jeans. The man like most of the other heroes is what could be described as good-looking, very tanned, and at the start wearing just boxer shorts. Seeing a good-looking healthy man wearing the jeans would convince many teenagers to wear them. The man does some exercises, showing off his body before slipping the jeans on. Whilst he is doing this, the focus is upon the unique selling point (usp) of the jeans (its button fly). This makes the man more attractive to impressionable viewers. He then looks in the mirror at himself, with a satisfied expression, as if he is thinking that he looks good, before picking up a picture of a woman who may be his girlfriend. We can faintly hear sirens in the distance (diegetic sounds), which are usually heard when there is an emergency.
They may be indicating warning, or danger. There is excitement in the air. The next shot shows the man lowering himself into the bath, with the cooling water in this scene being a contrast to the heat and excitement previously. At the end of this advert, the Aston “Now available pre-shrunk” is displayed. We assume that the man was sitting in the bath to shrink his jeans to his body, which represents his rebellion.
In this advert, the image of a typical single male seems to be portrayed. The man is predictably good looking, with a good body, and the audience is led to believe that he is meeting a girl. This is how a lot of young men at that time would wish to be, meaning that many viewers would believe wearing the jeans would make them more good looking, and more likely to get a woman.
Advertisement 67 ( laundrette) features another predictably good-looking man again, walking into a laundrette. He walks in towards a washing machine, with two small boys staring and admiring him over the top of a washing machine, before their mother pulls them away. We also see two young women admiring the man as he walks over to the washing machine and begins to remove his clothes.
He then begins to undo the buttons at the front of his jeans as the camera again focuses on this (the usp). When he pulls off his jeans the underwear that he is wearing is snow white. This is a sharp contrast with his jeans and tanned skin. After taking off his clothes, he puts them into a washing machine, before tipping a bag of stones into the machine with them. He then turns and sits down next to a much larger man, who wears boring clothes and doesn’t stand out like the young man wearing the jeans. The man has an almost disapproving look upon his face, this represents one of the ways he’s treated by others. At the very end of the advert the young man who stripped begins to read a newspaper, which is an everyday act, which is showing how the man doesn’t feel like him stripping is anything out of the ordinary, indicating confidence and boldness.