Levi's Targets Gay Community with Equal-Opportunity Ad Production


Advertising Age drew some attention to an effort by Levi's to strengthen its clout in the gay community by producing an ad twice - once for the straight community, and once for the gay one. The gay one ran exclusively on MTV's Logo network (which, unless it branches out, sounds like it's probably getting less play than the hetero version).

As always with Levi's the production is clean but the concept is wrongfully credited for being the first to do the gay/straight coin toss with human beings.

Orbitz, noted by Ad Age for having done this with marionettes, also produced a set of thematically gay and straight ads with human beings.


by Angela Natividad    Aug- 6-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Television   

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At least Orbitz presented original casting for the two spots, versus Levi’s using the same main character for their messages. Here’s another POV:


Posted by: Queer Eye on August 6, 2007 6:56 PM

Bitch bitch bitch, whine whine whine.

Damn 'queereye', can't you at least say something positive rather than hate on Levis? Considering they're one of the only advertisers to have done this, I applaud them. It's people like you who just can't appreciate the little steps and give props to those who dare to take them.

Posted by: devon on August 7, 2007 1:20 AM

Actually, devon, I think it’s odd that Levi’s wants to take credit for being such an innovator. Lots of major advertisers have been courting the GLBT for quite some time (remember the recent hoopla when “pro-family” groups protested Ford for appealing to gays?). Why should we be applauding an advertiser for finally recognizing and acknowledging a major segment of their audience? From a creative and conceptual perspective, Levi’s move was amateurish, especially when compared to Orbitz. Levi’s took the old-fashioned, easy way out. If you want to applaud that, more power to you.

Posted by: Queer Eye on August 7, 2007 2:01 AM

meant to type, "have been courting the GLBT audiences for quite some time..."

Posted by: Queer Eye on August 7, 2007 2:05 AM

I don't think anyone was claiming that Levis was the first to create a TV ad that targets a gay audience. The point of the original story in "Ad Age" was that Levis may start a trend to create "re-versioned" spots targeting lesbians & gay men. Obviously, Orbitz, Subaru, IKEA and Philadelphia Tourism have all created TV ads with gay characters, but what Levis did (and Orbitz did before with the marionettes) is they planned in pre-production to shoot additional "gay male" frames and then edit them into the spot later to make it relevant to gay consumers. It's a cost-efficient method used by many advertisers for years to tweak their message for different audiences. But Levis was first to produce a "re-versioned" spot (with human beings vs the Orbitz puppets who, of course, were charming).

But it's not really important who was technically first. The latest Levis commercial is important because most advertisers that air on Logo, HGTV, and Bravo don't have a "gay target" per se (unlike Subaru and Orbitz who are the exceptions). And while reaching gay consumers makes sense for a lot of advertisers even without a defined LGBT target, most of them don't have the budgets to create a separate TV commercial (a gay print ad is relatively inexpensive to produce from scratch and is done frequently for that reason). So the Levis spot may push other advertisers to consider planning in the pre-production phase ways to easily produce cost-efficient gay versions of their mainstream TV commercial...which still remains a very rare thing even with the existence of Logo. If the Levis "re-versioning" trend continues, it will create a great deal more gay visibility in TV marketing.

Posted by: Charlie the Tuna on August 7, 2007 9:50 AM

Charlie the Tuna,

Our original point is that the notion of versioning spots ala Levi’s is a cheap and outdated tactic that has been traditionally (and unsuccessfully) used for many decades by advertisers targeting minority audiences. As gay audiences are not exclusively watching gay programming, it’s highly likely that they’ll see both versions. What are they to think then? If an advertiser is truly committed to reaching special segments, they ought to allocate the proper funds to reach the segments, versus treating them like ghettoized minorities. Even a mediocre planner would admit that special segments (like all segments) respond more favorably to work that reflects tailored insights and appeals, rather than a recast version of the mass market concept. Audiences are keenly aware and sensitive to the insincerity associated with rehashed work. Imagine if you received a present from a loved one that had clearly been “re-gifted.” Same deal here. Surely an advertiser of Levi’s caliber has the resources to do the right thing. Of course, it might mean the mass market agency would receive a reduced slice of the budget pie in order to accommodate more audiences—and wouldn’t that be a tragedy?

Posted by: Queer Eye on August 7, 2007 7:33 PM

Complete information is given in your article.

Posted by: produzione spot pubblicitari on April 25, 2009 5:05 AM