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New Levi's 501 Jeans Commercial Goes Both Ways

Levi's has created a new ad for 501 jeans with both straight and gay versions. The straight version, in which a man pulls up his jeans and causes the street below, along with an attractive woman, to crash through the floor of his apartment, is appearing on major networks. The gay version, exactly the same except that the woman is replaced by a man, is running on LOGO.

In both ads, the main actor runs away with his new romantic interest.

According to Ad Age, "[Levi's Marketing VP Robert Cameron] admits the idea for the dual ads emerged from a tight budget, but later the concept took on greater meaning. 'At first it made us parse the thought of, what does that say? We're not spending as much money as we ought to do a dedicated commercial for the gay market. But [then] we thought, if we're going to do an ad for them, they deserve the same production values. ... So doing the same commercial with different endings seemed to us to be a message about absolute equality.'"

While Orbitz has released a similar gay-straight set of ads aimed at their respective audiences using marionettes, the Levi's ad is seen as the first such ad in the U.S. to do the same using actors.

Check out the straight version, after the jump...

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  1. WTF?!?!? They say cops have the best dope, but Madison Avenue most ASSUREDLY has the best crack...

    Posted by: Becks07 | Aug 6, 2007 10:55:06 AM

  2. A hot dude is a hot dude - Levis um... not so much but thanks for thinking of us. I suppose that the day for the "gay" ad to be the only ad for all markets is still far off but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Aug 6, 2007 11:14:04 AM

  3. I just wonder - if he gets lucky on the date, which seems very likely, when he drops his pants, does the entire street/date drop away again? 'Cause that would just suck ;)

    Posted by: Gregg | Aug 6, 2007 11:22:05 AM

  4. worth noting: the levis guys walks a lot closer to his partner in the "gay" ad than in the "straight" one.

    Posted by: Padraic | Aug 6, 2007 11:22:48 AM

  5. I still don't understand these ads. So, you pull on a pair of levis and your apartment is destroyed? so you can come home to a pile of rubble after your date?

    Posted by: halifax222 | Aug 6, 2007 11:24:06 AM

  6. Maybe they had to have the 2 male actors walk more closely to fully convey that, no, they're not "just good friends."

    Posted by: Gregg | Aug 6, 2007 11:26:09 AM

  7. So gay folk don't watch major networks? Glad they thought of us tho'; good on you, Levi.

    Gregg: LOL

    Posted by: PistolPetey | Aug 6, 2007 11:28:53 AM

  8. So this guy lives directly over the street? He's lucky that parking meter didn't give him the ride of his life...

    Posted by: Chad | Aug 6, 2007 11:29:27 AM

  9. Too bad the gay ad isn't running on more than Logo.

    Posted by: Frank L | Aug 6, 2007 11:32:55 AM

  10. I've seen both ads on TV....I've always wanted to know: wouldn't the guy want to put shoes on before he walked off? :)

    Posted by: PistolPetey | Aug 6, 2007 11:43:00 AM

  11. I'd be pissed if my fab loft got destroyed from putting on a pair of jeans. After they walk away do the other people on the street loot the remains of his loft? It would be a good way to get a Barcelona chair for free.

    Posted by: bxstrb | Aug 6, 2007 12:11:19 PM

  12. Levi's marketing VP said that "...doing the same commercial with different endings seemed to us to be a message about absolute equality.'"
    The only equality going on here is the equality to consume, which homos have always had.

    Posted by: gwyneth cornrow | Aug 6, 2007 12:22:31 PM

  13. BTW, the music's "Up Against the Wall" by Peter, Bjorn, and John.

    Posted by: adam | Aug 6, 2007 12:36:25 PM

  14. I had seen the gay version several times and told my hubby about it. Then we were watching TV one night and it came on - but it was the straight version. I figured at that point they had 2 versions.

    I think I've seen the gay one on Bravo before too. It's a mostly gay network, isn't it? ;-)

    p.s. What's with the Disorono (sp?) ads Bravo always runs during gay-themed programming? I don't know a single gay person that drinks amaretto on any regular basis.

    Posted by: ATLSteve | Aug 6, 2007 12:40:22 PM

  15. Yah, never understood this ad either..

    and ATLSteve - I noticed that too!! and it is such a boring commerical

    Posted by: gabriel | Aug 6, 2007 12:46:44 PM

  16. Gay or straight, this ad is stupid.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Aug 6, 2007 1:06:18 PM

  17. I think we can all agree that the concept makes absolutely no sense. It's really an excuse to show some cool production stuff.

    Nice that they thought of us gays, though.

    Posted by: Gino | Aug 6, 2007 1:37:09 PM

  18. hot or no, who would want a date with someone without a mobile? phoneboxes are, what, like 20 years ago?

    Posted by: matt | Aug 6, 2007 1:40:40 PM

  19. Some funny and perceptive comments on this thread!

    To ATLSTEVE: Uhm, I'm gay and I drink Amaretto quite frequently. Maybe not at a bar, or in a mixed drink (but I went through my "amaretto sour" phase many long years ago when coming out--I have a notorious sweet tooth) but it makes for a great digestif, especially neat in a brandy snifter, in lieu of a heavy, rich, fat and calorie laden dessert. Don't knock it! LOL

    Posted by: Chris | Aug 6, 2007 1:53:56 PM

  20. Whether you love or hate the brand, you have to admit the actual commercial is technically brilliant.

    Posted by: Steven. | Aug 6, 2007 2:09:58 PM

  21. funny, all of a sudden i have a hankerin' for a Snickers bar...

    Posted by: sean | Aug 6, 2007 2:22:43 PM

  22. Is it just me, or does Orbitz have a set of live-action commercials as well? I know I've seen the one where the lesbians win the "Take On Orbitz" quasi-game show in the airport as well as its straight version.

    Posted by: Sam | Aug 6, 2007 2:24:27 PM


    The way Levi's ads should be done. Oh, and this British advert -- created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty -- works for both gays and straights, saving the client money!

    Posted by: PC | Aug 6, 2007 3:32:42 PM

  24. I think there is something deeper and more positive going on here.

    The simple fact that Levi's decided to make a gay commercial.

    I mean come guys. Wake up. Even if one person outside our frame sees the ad it enforces something almost unquantifiable.

    Acceptance even on a subliminal level is acceptance BUILDING for culture and the times at large.

    Don't be fooled by your merge into the mainstream of popular culture. They hav e not accepted you . . . you have conformed to them. There is still a fight to be fought in the terms of acceptance.

    We see it on this blog everyday. Last year my friend and I were victims of a hate crime in a gay owned bar in Chelsea. IN MANHATTAN.

    I'm cheering in my Levis.

    Posted by: Br!on | Aug 6, 2007 3:36:26 PM

  25. OK, so 2 confirmed amaretto drinkers! ;-)

    I didn't mean no gay folk *ever* drink it, but the only times I ever see the ad are during gay programming. Amaretto does not = good vodkas so I kept wondering if they knew some secret I didn't.

    Posted by: ATLSteve | Aug 6, 2007 3:51:35 PM

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