American company

Levis-Strauss is an American company, founded in eighteen fifty three, who began producing denim overalls for work wear as it is a hardwearing, durable fabric hence it was for manual workers. Although in the nineteen fifties Hollywood starts began to wear jeans as a fashion item such as young rebellious actors like James Dean. This image caused young men of the public to follow the trend and denim became a popular item of clothing. Levis noticed the growing popularity in men following this style, therefore between nineteen eighty four and nineteen eighty seven a series of adverts were broadcast causing sales to rocket by a shocking two thousand percent.

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In these adverts an impression was given that Levis 501s are aimed towards white European men as of the absence of ethnic minorities in their advertisements. In the Levis 501’s adverts, gender is the most obvious issue of representation to discuss. There are three different types of male stereotype which highly contrast against each other, which is made clearly in the adverts. There is “the youthful hero” who has a carefree lifestyle and is shown wearing the jeans most frequently.

The jeans are portrayed to be worn as casual and stylish, as they are modelled by young, sexually attractive young men who are well-groomed, which is shown in the advert “Entrance” where he removes a comb from his pocket to comb his hair back in a “cool” manor. The youthful hero has several objects like this throughout the series of adverts such as his motorbike which suggests he enjoy freedom and sunglasses which imply he is stylish and “cool. ” Conversely there is the “nerd” who is a bespectacled man, is perceived as having a business centred lifestyle being intelligent and bookish.

This can be seen as in the advert “Pick-up” the nerd is wearing a very formal dull brown, ill fitting suit and tie with glasses. Also he seems highly impractical as the car breaks down and the youthful hero fixes it without hassle but when the nerd tried he burnt his hand while oil was leaking on his suit. In result to this the nerd loses his girlfriend to the hero who owns the Levis. In contrast to both the nerd and the youthful hero is the elderly male.

In the advertisement “Pool Hall” an old, dirty looking pool shark is shown admiring his winnings when the clean cut Levis wearing young hero walks in. The elderly male challenges the hero to a game of pool, and for a winning reward asks for his Levis jeans. This suggests that the jeans have a good image about them, as wanting to look like the youthful hero rather than give off the impression of him being an unhygienic, boring, elderly male. A less obvious issue to write about but still as important is youth and age. In General young people are portrayed to be admired more than old people in advertisements.

All young men and women are attractive and relaxed; they also seem to be in charge of the situation, for example in the advert “Entrance. ” A nerdy bouncer turns people away from a club for wearing blue jeans, as they are not formal enough but the hero turns up in black Levis so the bouncer has to let him in. The older generation of people are presented completely the opposite to what young people are perceived as. Older people are show to be extremely overweight, ugly and unhappy. The large contrast in the two stereotypes is shown in the advert “Laundrette” where the youthful hero enters a laundrette and strips to underwear without caring.

This shocks the older people in the advert who are shown sitting with grumpy facial expressions, wearing string vests and braces, and dishevelled looking. With there being such a large difference between the elderly and young particularly the men, helped the Levis sell to their target audience. As the target audience in the adverts are shown as the “popular” ones. Another issue to discuss is American culture. Many of the advertisements shape our opinions and influence our impressions of American culture and its traditions, particularly in the advert “Beach.

” The visual images such as blue skies, clear waters and palm trees, suggest wealth, leisure and pleasure. Also the use of colour film in the advert and the use of bright intense colours gives the impression of a more tropical and happy lifestyle. This is shown in contrast to the advertisement “Russia. ” The major difference in these two adverts is that the advert “Russia” is all in black and white, except for when the Levis are brought into notice. The red tag on the jeans is in colour, it is interesting that the advert should do this as the Russians use to be nicknamed “The Reds. “