The photography is something that Terrence Malick might be proud of, brief moments of magic hour beauty, a life lived in a series of snapshots, a beach, a night club, a street, lovers together, a moment of prayerful solitude and another of passion while a voice tells us about life and all the wonders held therein. 'You can't beat death, but you can beat death in life,' the old man's voice intones. Emotionally exhausted, the music surges and here we have the Levi's logo. The Levi's logo?
What? After all that emotional investment I expected a new religion at the least, or a secular grasping of a big God shaped idea. But this... all of this... the old guy, the photography, the lovers, the cosmos included was just to sell me a pair of trousers?
Next advert. Girl talks about a break up. 'It was like someone had died'. Northern accent confers sense of directness and honesty. Talks about intimate pain and the grief she felt before coming to terms with the necessary complexities of a mature emotional life: 'yin yang like'. All with tungsten illuminated cityscapes, blocks of flats, close ups. And then we're asked at the end by someone to send our own stories of break ups to the Doc Martens web site.
I don't just don't get it. I remember people feeling a bit icky about buying t-shirts which basically made us into walking adverts for the brands involved, but now they want us to send in our intimate secrets/painful moments/emotional traumas to use as part of their advertising campaigns. There was a time when people accused big companies of being heartless but now the problem is different. they seem to have listened and now they've decided it won't do and are ripping the hearts from our chests like some Tidley Scott remake in order to rectify the deficiency. (And yes that is a typo but now I see it I feel Tidley Scott given his recent cinematic dribblings deserves nothing less).
Sell me trousers, sell me jeans, but please don't start giving me philosophy.
Don't ask me to participate.
John Bleasdale is a writer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Il Manifesto, as well as CineVue.Com and theStudioExec.com. He has also written a number of plays, screenplays and novels.