The launch of the Levi’s Mermaids ad the other week saw 14,000
bottles of beer drunk within four rooms, which also held a 1970s disco,
a live band, free nosh and Tony Blackburn. Phew, sounds expensive.
Russell Minahan of Levi’s PR firm Shilland and Co declined to reveal the
cost, so I am forced to refer to theQ&A sheet for the event -
mysteriously come into my possession. I quote: ’We cannot disclose the
actual amount spent but it is part of Levi Strauss and Co’s (UK) annual
pounds 9 million spend in the UK.’ Mmmm, so I guess they’re not going to
Infinitely more revealing is the section on the commercial itself. Q3:
’Due to the amount of special effects featured in the advert, did the
commercial cost more than intended?’
Answer: ’Innovative post-production values are crucial to our ads which
we see as mini-films ...’ I’ll take that as a yes then.
As for all those prudes who might object to the depiction of semi-naked
mermaids trying to rip the keks off our muscle-bound hero, the rapid
rebuttal team has an answer for that too.
’Mermaids are characters generally associated with children’s
fairytales,’ chimes the crib sheet. The ad portrays them as naive and
curious in their relationship with the hero, his legs and the blue
fabric which covers his legs’. Which is what you might say about a
As for those bloody feminists, Levi’s gives them short shrift.
Q9: ’Could the commercial be considered sexist?’
Answer: ’No. The mermaids in the commercial are portrayed as strong
individuals with an air of curiosity and sense of real responsibility as
they are seen to resuscitate the hero’.
Funny, it looked like they were trying to rip his keks off to me ...