Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Levi's and Walt Whitman

Blame Mad Men?
Is a brilliant series about a 60's ad agency actually influencing contemporary ad agencies? I want to see Barney Stinson quoting Ted Berrigan in a bar to pick up some hipster girl, episode titled New York School... last drunken words of the episode, "...my vocabulary did this to me."
In December 2008, Levi's ditched its old ad agency and signed on with Wieden + Kennedy (the talented ad makers responsible
for creating many of Nike's epic, stirring, one-minute anthems). The spots that W+K came up with—this new campaign is labeled "Go Forth"—have been running since the summer in movie theaters and, increasingly, on television. From the moment we see that "America" sign half-sunk in inky water, we know we're watching something new. The campaign inhabits a different universe from the one depicted in "Live Unbuttoned."

For one thing, it's a universe in which the ever-present soundtrack is Walt Whitman poetry. This spot uses a wax cylinder recording believed to be audio of Whitman himself reading from his poem "America." The second spot in the campaign employs a recording of an actor reading Whitman's "Pioneers! O Pioneers!

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