This was an incredibly popular campaignback in the late 1990's. It spawned a number 1 hit single and God knows how many toy Flat Erics.
But what were they trying to do?
Let's roll back to the 1980's and the launch of Levi's Laundrette,followed by some of my favourite ads ever including Creek and Drugstore. They knew what they wanted to do, rather than have a jeans brand about fashion or style, have one with real meaning with their chosen audience.
That chosen audience was young people. Their observation was that people this age are non-conformist, rebellious and reject the establishment - 'The man'. So they wanted to make Levis the ant-establishment brand.
One problem, were very cynical about America in the UK then (and now). Anything to do with contemporary America was likely to fail. BUT - we loved, and love American heritage. That might mean the America of the fifties, the pioneers that conquered the American West and everything in between. Levis were the original jeans, they has been there since the days of the Wild West, they were part of American history. Part of that pioneering spirit.
So that's how they brought the rebellious spirit to life - they told stories of young people challenging authority in America's past, not right now. The Hollywood version rather than the 9 'o' clock news one.
And my God it worked. But the problem with becoming the brand for a generation is that the next one coming behind wants to do the exact opposite of the one before - like Punk rejecting Rock and the New Romantics then rejecting Punk.
Levis had to make their anti-authority DNA relevant to new generation which meant a break with their own recent past. So rather than the sweeping, filmic grandeur with the soundtrack of American music history, they moved to something contemporary. With a new hero product - Sta Prest, that was only intended to be short term, and really make most people feel different about buying the core jeans range.
I guess I'm saying they were still following the strategy of building meaning into the brand, selling the same attitude to the same audience, but they had to modernize how they brought that to life, so a new generation could feel like they were rejecting the one that came before.