BBH Takes Another Crack at Type 1

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Levi's: A hot rod rodeo.
After taking a public beating from Levi's president-CEO Phil Marineau for the somber Super Bowl launch of Type 1 Jeans, BBH/New York is back with a sequel. Like "Stampede" -- which Marineau described to analysts as "a poor Super Bowl ad" that failed to reflect the brand -- BBH's latest tries to merge Levi's past with its future by presenting what group creative director Thomas Hayo calls "a classic theme, reinterpreted."

"It's really tricky," Hayo says of the Levi's challenge. "It's not just enough to make a fashionable and hip ad, because with Levi's, they have this brand with heritage and you want to get that in there without being old and dusty." The new spot, titled "Car," is an adrenalized romp in which an action cowboy tries to break a runaway car as it speeds through the streets of Budapest. And, unlike "Stampede" -- which was plagued by production problems, including a midstream director switch -- the concept has been fully realized by directing team Traktor, who manage to create a spaghetti-western world in which hot rod wranglers might actually exist. Hayo points out that even the soundtrack is a mix of old and new: a raunchy rock song from Blur processed by Fatboy Slim. "That was the trick," Hayo says of the spot's mix of hipness and heritage. "Hopefully with these new ads, we've struck a nice balance." "Car" is currently running in cinemas before hittng TV, and will be followed by a spot directed by HSI's Johan Renck, which Hayo says will feature a female protagonist.

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