Levi Strauss & Co. Rolls With The Comedy

Levi Strauss & Co.
October 13, 2017

On Saturday Night Live’s season premiere a few weeks ago, the Levi’s® brand was featured in a spoof ad poking fun at the “woke” movement and promoting jeans that don’t conform to gender or body labels.

“Defining someone by their style? That’s offensive,” say SNL cast members, along with host Ryan Gosling, all dressed in voluminous balloon pants.

“That’s why Levi’s® Wokes have no style,” says Pete Davidson. “They fit everybody … because they fit nobody.”

The spot isn’t the first time SNL has spoofed Levi’s® — or the first time our brands have been the subject of television humor.

In the early 1990s, SNL created a fake commercial for a three-legged “Leevi’s” jean. The spot includes  Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock and others playing basketball, dancing, skateboarding and smoking in their three-legged jeans, unfazed by the superfluous denim leg.

In 1991, LS&Co.’s other iconic brand, Dockers®, became the subject of a joke in Seinfeld. At the time, the brand was running TV ads featuring men in Dockers® talking about everything from weekend plans to sports. In the Seinfeld episode, Jerry, dressed in khaki pants, sits next to a date on the couch of his New York apartment. “Are those cotton Dockers?” she asks, going on to say that she likes the clever ads.

Jerry, on the other hand, can’t understand how she could like a commercial where the guys are just standing around talking. “And what does it have to do with the pants?” he asks. “They’re talking about nothing.” Of course, the irony is that Seinfeld is often considered a show about nothing.

By 1998, The Simpsons would reveal that family patriarch Homer Simpson is a Dockers® man. In one episode, Homer becomes a hippie inspired by a revelation about his middle name. As he tests out his new life, Marge brings her husband a bag with a pair of Dockers® khaki pants as a backup to his communal wardrobe. “Not in front of the hippies, Marge,” Homer says.

So why welcome the jokes? To us, it’s all just a part of being at the center of culture. As Levi’s® Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Sey told the San Francisco Chronicle after the latest SNL spot, “We’re thrilled to be included in the fun. We strive to put our brand at the center of things. When you do that successfully, ‘SNL’ might spoof you. We love it.”

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