Levi 501 Jeans Baptised

Earlier in 2003 Levi Strauss developed a TV advert for Levi 501 jeans – made it in Australia and tried it in NZ. The ad starts with a train arriving in the night. Off steps a woman to meet friends in a waiting car. They drive through the city to the river, beneath the bridge. She wades out into the water, followed by her three friends. They take off shirts and jeans. With the help of her friends she is baptised, fully immersed, in the dark water. As she comes out of the water she is wearing jeans. The text appears: “Born Again” “Re-Cut 501 Jeans Men-Women”.

Girl baptised in Levis TV ad

The advert was online at www.levis.com.au or www.levis.co.nz (It has now been replaced by other advertising campaigns).

The ad, featuring a woman being baptised in her underwear and coming out of the water wearing jeans, was banned in New Zealand because it was considered inappropriate use of religious imagery, in particular baptism. No one appeared to be upset in Australia. If anything, I would have thought people here just didn’t realise that it was religious.

Girl baptised in Levis TV ad


“Born Again” was released on April 27, 2003 in Australia, created at advertising agency Brandhouse Arnold, Melbourne, by creative director/art director Rodd Martin, art director Jonnine Davis, copywriters Jessica Harold and Ben Frid, with agency producer Tom McCormick.

The film production team at Cherub Pictures, Sydney included director Andrew Dominik, producer Adrian Shapiro and director of photography Jonathan Clabburn.

Seth Lockwood from post production company Iloura, Melbourne, was responsible for editing. Colourist was Martin at Digital Pictures.

The music in the clip is “Clue to My Desire”, by now defunct Australian band, The Wreckery.