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Go Forth

Essay by   •  January 22, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,181 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,211 Views

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Go Forth

For nearly one hundred and forty years Levi Strauss and Company have been making the "American Jeans", even though the majority of their products are made in China. Being the first company to make denim jeans, it's needless to say that Levi's were revolutionary. Levi Strauss and Company's blue jeans are widely accepted all over the world from farmers to high fashion designers (depending on the cut, of course). They make all kinds of cuts, for all kinds of people ranging from the 510 Super Skinny jeans to the 569 Loose Straight jeans. Levi Strauss and Company have always been a company that markets themselves with deeply rooted patriotic values, however, it could be said that their view of patriotism is changing or adapting to help fit new generations view of patriotism, as shown in the 2011 Levi's "Go Forth" advertisement.

The 2011 Levi's "Go Forth" ad is a one minute long television advertisement. It is usually aired on television networks such as MTV, MTV2, Comedy Central and many other television networks, popular among young people. The ad starts out with a frame of a girl wearing a feathered shawl with her arms up in the air and the feathers blowing in the wind. When the frame changes to the girl a voice-over comes in of Gary Farmer reading "The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski. Is it a coincidence that the girl is wearing a feathered shawl when Gary Farmer's grizzled Native American voice starts reading the poem? I think not. I think this is very symbolic, it almost seems like it's symbolizing a revolution. It has a feel to it that says "Let's take back what's ours."

After the scene with the girl, the ad transitions into a frame of a rally/protest with hundreds of people marching down a city street. Among the people marching, right in the middle of the frame, one of them holds up a peace sign with their hand. This helps show what demographic Levi's are trying to appeal to. The ad soon transitions to one of the most important scenes in the ad in my opinion. It is a view of a Native American looking man wearing a white tank top and jeans, riding on a table with a trolling motor attached to it. The man has a very determined look on his face, almost as if he's on a mission. During this scene Gary Farmer says "it may not be much light", possibly insinuating that he may not have much hope or materials, but he's making good use out of what he has; much like the Indians after being forced out of their land by settlers.

"...There are ways out. There is light somewhere. It may not be much light, but it beats the darkness..." (The Laughing Heart, Charles Bukowski)

After the scene of the man boating on the table, the advertisement starts to speed up in pace and ambient chiming sounds begin to become audible. It begins cutting quickly from scene to scene showing bonfires, swimming, kissing, parties and concerts; showing a wild life style being lived by America's rebellious youth. When the concert scenes come on the narrator says "you can't beat death, but you can beat death in life sometimes" as he says "you can beat death in life sometimes" a guitar player shoots fire from the headstock of his guitar, continuing to show a fun-loving and exciting lifestyle being lived by America's stereotypical young adults.

The ad then comes to the most important scene,

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