Advertising: Levi's silverTab Jeans



Turning through a fashion magazine, there they are: three colorful, glossy, sequential pages in a magazine, each portraying young adults in various metropolitan settings. The drawings are contemporary, the scenes they portray urbane. Are these merely random illustrations, one artists' version of the varied aspects of city life, or do they hold a different significance? Only when the last page is reached is the answer revealed: this is an advertisement for Levi's silverTab jeans. These ads are present in many magazines; each set wordlessly telling a different story. Other than the silverTab logo and locations of where to buy them, there is no text. Conversations among the characters or promotions to buy the pants do not exist. These subtle advertisements utilize medium, presentation, situation and identity to portray silverTab jeans as classic, essential and fashionable. The ads themselves being unique in style, they emphasize the cutting edge, urban-experimental images they portray and make these images appeal to more ordinary viewers.

With the assurance that people are attracted to novelty, the ad relies on its own unconventionality to sell products. Graphically, these ads differ from most clothing advertisements, making them more noticeable than most ads. There was no photo shoot taken to create these layouts, they have been drawn and colored. Using this less common medium to display the products has produced an interesting result. The jeans are not realistically portrayed. Like everything else in the ad, they have been translated and reformed through the artists' perception. Also, they are not on display; being sometimes further back in the picture or possibly obscured by a skirt. As a result of this, it is hard to grasp what the jeans actually look like simply by looking at the picture. As the jeans are not presented photographically, this makes the entire advertisement less demanding than most ads. This is simply a picture. The characters are not giving testimonials about silverTab jeans; they seem engrossed in their own particular situations. The jeans are not always prominent in their location in the ad. There are no flashy colors or sale banners. The viewer is not being told to go buy the jeans, or at least not in writing..

These ads rely on drawn, text-less presentations, yet the scenes are expressive enough to convey the image of the glamorous "big city" and make it appealing. This is done by giving everything a decidedly urban style. All of the surroundings are very industrial, from the city rooftop to the steel metal bridge to the girls' loft. There are lots of grey colors and metallic substances present, but although this is the city, it is portrayed as a lovely place. There is greenery - even if it is surrounded by metal and concrete - and the sky is clear. All of this is done to make the setting seem like the most desirable one possible, in the heart of the city, the heart of it all. It is implied that if one are you are young and hip, then it is necessary to live like this.

The characters portrayed do live like this, and they serve as models for everyone else. The inhabitants of this concrete utopia are young, independent and very fashionable. There are many different races depicted, both male and female, so that the ads appeal to a wide range of young adults. In order to seem more stylized, and appearing like urban street art, the characters have been drawn in a street-anime style. This novel technique again makes the ads unique and appealing. Viewers who want to emulate this metropolitan persona will be drawn into buying the jeans. This ad works on many age levels as well: the younger viewers wish to become what they see later in life, and the more mature ones wish to become more stylish right now.

Levi's silverTabs appeal to so many because although they are very cosmopolitan, they are still the basic pieces of clothing they were decades ago. In the advertisement, many of the characters wear accessories or extra layers, one example of this being the girl with a skirt over her pants. She has done this to be inventive, yet she needs the jeans to give her creativity a solid base. This has been done so as not to make the jeans seem too inaccessible and impossible to wear, as a lot of high fashion can be. Some people may not be able to pull off the more experimental articles, such as sleeves, but the jeans are universal.

Although Levi's jeans have a simple past, they have been updated and given an urban image in the form of the silverTab advertisements. These ads are novel and experimental in form and content, reflecting the attitude of the artsy, young adult, cosmopolitan dwellers. Playing upon the allure of the idealized metropolis, these ads make the city life appeal to many types of people.