In 1982 the sales of Levi 501's decreased immensely. They no longer had the attraction they held in the fifties, an emotionally charged period associated with youth, sex, rebellion and heroism. Levis wanted to appeal to the young generation instead of having the label, dads old work clothes'. They wanted to reach out to people who would desire the jeans for their unusual look, but also for their originality and classic status. Levis intention was to lower the age profile of the brand's consumers. The young generation is the largest market but is also the hardest to break. Brands and labels were appearing that teenagers aspired to more because of their genuine novelty. It was vital for the 501's to be accepted with the growing boo of change in fashion, instead of being placed back on the shelf.
Research showed that the intended target audience for Levi's 501s - 15- to 19-year-olds - saw the United States of the fifties and sixties as a cool time and place in history. James Dean, Elvis Presley and Sam Cooke all belonged to this mythical, wondrous world. Unless the ad agencies came up with something new, Levi's 501s would be put back on the shelf and seen as work clothing. Their new approach ranged from launderettes to beaches, all featuring an emphasis on physical attraction. Consequently lust entered the ad agencies agenda.
Lust is best described as desire for excitement, or the need to be accepted or recognized by others. In all of the Levi's adverts different themes run through them, but subliminal sex appeal is a major factor of each of them. Lust is one of the seven deadly sins, and in a time of nonconformity and going against the rules, desire and sex were seen as a provocative way to differentiate things between the young and older generation.
Very attractive men, with admired physiques are used to represent the characters that wear the jeans. The men all turn heads in the advertisements wherever they walk, whether by both men and