UBI Jeans Bugs Out

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UBI Jeans: They become you.
Jeans advertising just got stranger. In a category where ads can sometimes be obscure -- think Levi's in the U.K., Lee in the U.S., or Diesel anywhere -- a new spot for UBI Jeans takes marketing surrealism to new heights. "We realized we wanted to do these dark pieces that could play in clubs and at fashion shows as well as on TV and on the web," explains Caskey Ebeling, a freelance brand strategist who developed -- and directed -- the spot for UBI, a line founded by former Tommy Hilfiger CD Ubi Simpson. "We really wanted to be sure we pushed the technology and really pushed the creative."

The spot, titled "Blood Hunt," shows the world from a mosquito's point of view as it hums around searching for sources of blood. We see a man foolishly sewing his pants while wearing them, a raccoon being stuffed and other scenes before the mosquito zooms into a dadaist delivery room and is smashed against a pair of UBI Jeans, a setup for the tag "They become you." For the unusual effort, Ebeling recruited a range of talent, from the effects artists at Santa Monica's Creo to freelancing creatives Sally Hogshead and Valerie Ang-Powell -- better known as the brain trust behind Crispin Porter + Bogusky's L.A. office.

But the spot, which has been teased on MTV only once, is just the beginning. Ebeling is currently putting together an art exhibition that will feature jeans worn for 90 days by people with intriguing lives. Once completed, the installation will travel to boutiques that carry UBI Jeans, bringing an underground party and multimedia festival with it. Thus the need for a spot that will play as well in dance clubs as on MTV. "The whole premise is the more interesting your life is, the more interesting your jeans will become, because they collect scars," Ebeling says of the nascent campaign. "The person is part of the design."

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