"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need."
In the movie "Fight Club," that's one of the many memorable lines uttered by Brad Pitt's insane character Tyler Durden. And it couldn't be more ironic given the actor's love of promoting products in real life. Pitt is one of the most sought-after -- and willing -- Hollywood stars to do product endorsements. He's appeared in ads for Pringles, Honda, Heineken and Rolex, and is a regular in commercials in Japan and China. In the latter market he's currently a spokesman for Cadillac.
Sadly, his TV spots these days are veering towards the off-putting and bizarre, if that recent Chanel ad he did is any evidence. Yikes!
But make no mistake, back in the day, he was great.
Pitt's best commercial work is the above 1991 Levi's ad -- which aired 25 years after the first-ever TV commercial for Levi's jeans hit the small screen. The company this week celebrates its 140th birthday of the trademarking of the blue jean, which is considered the anniversary of the Levi's company. Founder Levi Strauss died years ago in his 70s, but his descendants still run the company today.
But back to Pitt.
In the ad, he portrays a prisoner in a desert jail. Years before his six kids and the 'Brangelina' phenomenon, we see a young, mussed-up-hair Pitt escorted out of the jail after he's found to be "inocente". As one last 'F-U' to his prisoner, the warden decides to try steal Pitt's clothes to send off the hunk in an embarrassing fashion. The warden laughs till he realizes the joke's on him.
A super sexy lady comes to fetch Pitt. She brings along his favorite jeans, chucks them over and he slips them on. The fit couldn't be better -- they're Levi's, after all. The pair make out while the warden gapes. And then they drive off into the distance.
The style of the spot feels signature for the era, with all the steaminess of the most popular videos of the early 90s, oversexed odes to hot models, like George Michael's "Freedom 90" or Chris Issak's "Wicked Game."
It's pretty entertaining all told. And a heck of a lot better than that Chanel ad.