[Agency Spy post] Levi's: This Country Was Built By Slaves

The above Levi's campaign, which was lauded by AdWeek and lambasted by AdAge, is summed up by one black magic marker and the unknown source of the scrawled words, "by slaves".

On her site, Director of Global Trends at Global Hue Christine Huang put it like this. "Levis (or rather W+K) is glorifying these centuries old American ideals — Optimism! Egoism! Manifest Destiny! — while making paltry gestures towards the reality of American history and what America is today. Besides the few ethnic actors in the video, their print campaign is disappointingly monochromatic and seems almost unapologetically alienating. It would have been really amazing to see Levis pay homage to the symbols of true individuality from our past — the Freedom riders, abolitionists, Suffragists, veterans. 'The Frontier' is sexy and all, but how about some real American heroes?"

Now you go.

Note: The "by slaves" remark was not part of the original poster. Someone passing by added it, we presume.

I saw the spot and was frankly, underwhelmed. Levi's is trying to up it's cool to maybe it's former 80's stature with some 90's arty style. I understand what the hub-bub is all about. But I honestly feel just as "left-out" when I view commercials by 99% of advertisers. So this campaign and it's improptu addendum does me nothing. Actually the unskilled tag artist did us a favor to remind common folk of the fact; this country was built in large inseparable part by slaves. Watching this commercial, in spite of the casting just makes me feel like they are not speaking to Black people. They are in some distant way indifferent. So... yawn.

special thanks to atslopes
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