Heater, Mother of Lance

I’ve Got This Great Idea for a Bold New Ad

There’s like this totally desolate area, except it’s not totally desolate. Maybe it’s quasi-desolate. Yeah, that’s it, quasi. And there’s a city with buildings, but there are no people anywhere, and it’s all very post-apocalyptic and shit. No one is doing post-apocalyptic and shit these days, so we’re being very edgy that way.

And when I said there were no people anywhere I was just kidding. There are actually two people. So there are two people, and these people are very real looking. You know, real. Except they really aren’t real because real people are too fat. These people are real looking in the way that plastic is real looking. Plastic makes things possible.

So the girl who is one of these two people looks like she’s just had a fight with her tight-ass cunt of a mother. You know, she’s pissed and she looks very misunderstood like her mother just grounded her for not brushing her hair in several days. And she’s had it with her mother, and so she and her hip-bones escape through the bedroom window and find themselves walking along the streets of this quasi-desolate, post-apocalyptic city.

And the guy who is the other one of these two people, he’s been smoking some serious pot. He has dreadlocks, and people who have dreadlocks smoke pot. We don’t actually show him smoking pot, that would be illegal, but everyone knows he’s been smoking pot. Smoking pot is cool. And he looks like he could possibly have an African American mother and a Chinese father, or something like that. Maybe a Vietnamese father, you know, something very exotic.

Anyway, he’s not very upset. He’s actually very relaxed because he’s been smoking pot. And you get the idea that the guy and the girl would never associate in real life, but since they find themselves in a quasi-desolate, post-apocalyptic city they have a bond. They, like, totally get each other. And this is what it’s all about, really. Pretty people getting other pretty people.

And so they’re walking and walking and they begin to hear this huge noise in the background. Like, fucking huge. Like a stampede of wild bison or something. And the people watching the commercial know that it really is a huge fucking stampede of wild bison, or maybe buffalo. Either one will do. Whatever, just some huge hairy beasts running like hell.

So these bison are tearing the place up, there are like a gazillion of them. And glass is breaking and things are crumbling, you know, it’s a disaster. It’s chaos. It’s a metaphor for the world we live in, you know. And the people watching the commercial are like, get out of the way, you two pretty people! The huge herd of bison are headed straight for Mr. and Ms. Disaffected, and they show no signs of slowing or stopping to graze.

But the guy and the girl just stop and turn around to face the stampede, like they are totally crazy. I mean, you’d have to be crazy to stand there facing an oncoming stampede of bison at full-throttle, everybody knows that. Those bison are totally going to mutilate those two people and everyone watching the commercial is like, oh my god.

But here’s where we pull the switcheroo, here’s where we totally fool everyone. You see, what the bison and the people watching the commerical don’t know is that the jeans these two people are wearing have created an impenetrable force-field around their bodies! It’s totally like magic or something. The bison are diverted around the guy and the girl like water or something like that. And you’re totally going, holy fuck!

And the bison are going so fast that they are creating a fierce wind that is blowing gently through the girl’s disheveled hair and the guy’s dreads, totally like poetry. And she is so overhwlemed that she starts to cry, and we know that in that instant she has forgiven her tight-ass cunt of a mother. And the guy is so stoned that he doesn’t really know what the hell is going on, he just knows that it’s really fucking cool.

And to top it all off, the real clincher, what will make this the raddest jeans ad ever: we’re going to set the whole thing to this really great song, a song that should never be bastardized like it will be in this commercial. And anytime anyone who loves that song sees this commercial, they will want to take a loaded gun and empty it into the heads of whoever agreed to make this monstrosity.

  • anna jr.

    2003/02/09 at 12:41 pm

    thank you, dooce!

    i was seriously confused about why that girl was so pissed and what the hell that guy had done with his hair and why the buffalo didn’t trample them.

    but now i understand it all. and it was the levi’s brand FORCE-FIELD that saved them!

    and man, now i REALLY want those jeans even more.

  • Renee

    2003/02/09 at 12:48 pm

    LOL! That was priceless.

  • MB

    2003/02/09 at 12:56 pm

    Man, I hate that commercial so much (no offense since, you know, apparently it’s your idea and all).

  • Alex

    2003/02/09 at 12:56 pm

    mmmmm…..bastardized song!


    2003/02/09 at 1:03 pm

    Duuude! Like that guy’s not like half Vietnamese and black and stuff – Like it’s me, I sold out after the Rage Against the Machine gig and like did this commercial.

  • Scott

    2003/02/09 at 1:18 pm

    I hate that commercial, I hate those two people, I hate their stupid jeans, and I even hate the computer generated buffalo.

    And I’m also pissed that they used a Stooges song in a Nissan commercial.

  • kindle

    2003/02/09 at 1:20 pm

    Yeah, I’ve seen that ad a few times now. Every time I’m disappointed that those two cunts don’t get trampled. Maybe next time..

  • f

    2003/02/09 at 1:25 pm

    It took me until the last paragraph to realize that this was an actual commercial you were speaking of. This is what having a TiVo does to you, it makes you impervious to commercials, except that Sprint wireless commercials with all the dachshunds, because wiener dogs are really fucking cute.

  • kate

    2003/02/09 at 1:26 pm

    dooce you read my mind (and spruced up my thoughts to make them really, really funny).

    the first thing i thought after i saw that shit on tv was a new levi’s tagline:

    stoned and powerful.

  • Jennay

    2003/02/09 at 1:39 pm


    I’d do him again…

  • da

    2003/02/09 at 1:48 pm

    dooce, was this ad your idea also?:

  • Kayjay

    2003/02/09 at 1:48 pm

    That ad makes my brain hurt in a serious way…not quite so bad that I start yelling at the TV, but close.

  • Janna

    2003/02/09 at 2:24 pm

    I kind of liked that commercial… 🙁

  • sjc

    2003/02/09 at 2:26 pm

    Devil’s advocate: don’t a few lads in Scotland deserve a sound thrashing for agreeing to this in the first place?

  • Edsmonkey

    2003/02/09 at 2:48 pm

    I wish those fuckin’ buffalo would run over the ad execs and the dicksmack at levi’s that okayed that lame ass piece of advertising.

    I would also like to huck a big steamer of a buffalo chip at those slack jawed nutants they hired for models.
    It what reality are they considered attractive?!?!

  • earththing

    2003/02/09 at 2:51 pm

    I live in foreign parts and haven’t seen the advert. What song do they use?

  • laura

    2003/02/09 at 2:53 pm

    levi is one of my accounts at work, though i am not in advertising. monday after the super bowl, all my fellow levi account co-workers were all scratching our heads over that one. bold since 2003? quite possibly the dumbest commercial ever. except for those singing pringles cans.

  • dooce

    2003/02/09 at 3:03 pm

    earththing: you can see the actual commercial if you go to levis.com and click on USA.

    the song is ìSummerî by a Scottish band called Mogwai.

  • L.A. Grump

    2003/02/09 at 3:05 pm

    The worst thing about that ad is that’s really fucking long! All that time wasted when I could’ve been online!

  • Another Laura

    2003/02/09 at 3:15 pm

    I think the saddest use of a good song in a commercial was Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon” in that VW ad.

  • lee

    2003/02/09 at 3:35 pm

    So I was with Eartthing there, in not having ever seen the commercial. And so while I was reading that whole description, I was thinking, “Dude, am I going to have to take away a shit ton of Dooce’s cool points ’cause she acutally thinks this lame-ass idea for a commercial is good? She sounds sarcastic and silly, but…” I was so relieved when I discovered that the cool points need not be retracted.

    Watched the clip over at levis.com as suggested, just to get back in touch with American advertising. Can’t say I’ve missed much. That girl is far too pouty.

  • Jason

    2003/02/09 at 3:53 pm

    I was thinking, “what a dumb ass entry – what is she on?”

    Then I got it. Right on.

  • Benjy

    2003/02/09 at 4:08 pm

    First, what’s the deal with the Bison having the levis back pocket embroidery on it’s snout?

    That was far and away the worst commercial of the Super Bowl! Didn’t make any sense and didn’t at all fit the demographics for the Super Bowl. Too deep and all.

  • Janna

    2003/02/09 at 4:33 pm

    That’s not his snout– it’s the reflection in his eye.

  • PaulDav

    2003/02/09 at 4:36 pm

    Let’s cut to the chase – the ad sucks. Another case of the 30something Art Director making sure his/her inflated salary is justified.

    I’ve been in Ad work much too long.

  • Xanthan

    2003/02/09 at 4:50 pm

    Ok, a Dooce first (at least with me):

    You got me to snort water out my nose. Thank GOD I wasn’t drinking something more severe! You rock, girl.

  • PJ

    2003/02/09 at 4:52 pm

    Also, they’ve changed the stitching pattern on the pocket from the Levis of years past. Now it looks like stylized cleavage.

  • Red

    2003/02/09 at 5:55 pm

    It’s the lamest.
    Direct your critiques to Bartle Bogle Hegarty-New York: Creative Director Thomas Hayo, Copywriter Anthony Goldstein and Art Director Gavin Lester.
    Phone: 212-812-6600
    Fax: 212-242-4110

  • Vera

    2003/02/09 at 6:05 pm

    I think the two people look really cool from behind because I used to know really cool people with matching long hair like that who I expect to see at my high school reunion, but when you see the girl’s face, it’s like Whoa. What’s with the massive overbite?

  • the propagandist

    2003/02/09 at 6:16 pm

    what i can’t tell is if the producer has a freudian or a jungian as their therapist.

    any suggestions?

  • Irk

    2003/02/09 at 6:30 pm

    Used to be you could order an entire buffalo – all the meat cuts, the hide, and whatever else comes with a buffalo – for $15,000 from Heartland Buffalo. And you could pay another $5,000 and have a chef come and prepare that entire buffalo for you and, like, 500 of your closest friends. But it appears that they’re no longer taking online orders.

    And a confession: I kinda like those Chrysler ads with Celine Dion. Not that it would make me buy that car.

  • Kate the Great

    2003/02/09 at 7:02 pm

    OH MAN! I fucking hate that commercial! Thank you for performing this crucial public service.

  • Rachel

    2003/02/09 at 7:04 pm

    I change the channel every time that ad comes on. I wish it didn’t happen several times a day…That ad makes me want to claw my eyes out.

  • scot-on-the-rocks

    2003/02/09 at 7:52 pm

    The song needs to be “Free Bird”…the double time ending would be perfect for the closeups as the bison pass by the astonished couple…

    By the way, shouldn’t there be some bison crap being thrown up as they pass by these two..? I’m trying to invision it as it splatters against the “force-field”

  • steve, and I'm dirrrty

    2003/02/09 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you for ‘splaining it.

    God I hate that ad.

  • the mighty jimbo

    2003/02/09 at 9:49 pm

    levis, bison, beautiful multi ethnic people. what’s more american than that? of course, to have made a TOTALLY american commercial they should have slaughtered all the bison.

  • Samantha

    2003/02/09 at 9:49 pm

    One thing you forgot to explain was how the levi’s logo (on the back of the kids’pants) was reflected in the lead bison’s eye – after they’d turned around… Unless it got burned into the bison’s retina, or something.

  • nessa

    2003/02/09 at 9:50 pm

    seriously. seriously. bold since 2003? what. the. fuck? this ad? makes me want to recklessly fling sharp objects.

  • ChibaCity

    2003/02/09 at 10:35 pm

    “{Jean-Marie} Dru argued that successful brands would have to invent some high-profile scheme for identifying themselves with liberation; they would have to identify and attack some social ‘convention’ …and would have to align themselves with some larger ‘vision’ of human freedom. From a longer perspective what Dru was proposing was the colonization by business of the notion of social justice itself.”
    –Thomas Frank, One Market Under God

  • orangewinter

    2003/02/09 at 10:48 pm

    the Levi’s commercial doesn’t bug be so much as the Celine Dion ad for a fucking minivan (mentioned a few comments back, too). when I obviously hit the wrong buttons on the remote, I was thrown into what I thought had to be a skit on SNL or something. I think it might actually be the absolute worst commercial I have seen in my life. I can usually figure out in about two seconds who the target market is for a commercial, but this one has me stumped. I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to go out to buy this car after having seen the commercial. even the soccer moms or new moms or whatever have to laugh at it. at least I hope so.

    I’d much rather watch a couple of models hold their own against a herd of computerized buffalo.

  • Kevynn Malone

    2003/02/09 at 10:55 pm

    And then Dooce’s dog with the really sharp teeth hunts down all of the Bison.

  • CartDi

    2003/02/10 at 12:21 am

    when you got the part about hearing the fucking huge noise in the background, i knew it was that Levi’s commercial. wheeee!

  • windowsill wendy

    2003/02/10 at 5:19 am

    i’m with you, dooce. the ad stinks, and they didn’t play mogwai at nearly high enough volume. thanks for yet another fabulous post.

  • julia

    2003/02/10 at 5:33 am

    at first, i was confused by the moronosity of the ad. then i was even more confused when i found out that the firm that created this singular achievement in stupidity is the same firm that did the axe body deodorant commercials that make me fall on the floor. you know, the ones with the blonde chick and the mannequin? and the other ones with the guy and the chick in the elevator?

    how can this be?

  • Sarah B.

    2003/02/10 at 5:38 am

    I thought they were ripping off “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.”

  • Sarah B.

    2003/02/10 at 5:39 am

    P.S. I love the word “dicksmack.”

  • The other Renee

    2003/02/10 at 6:06 am

    Damn, that is such a horrible advert. And why oh why do these lame ad-men think that putting great music in their dumbass adverts will make me wanna run out and buy a shitty pair of Levis? Why? Whyyyyyyyyyyy?

  • allisonic

    2003/02/10 at 6:24 am

    since i was really stoned when i first saw it, i liked the commercial. i thought it was very very “intense.”

  • QuesoDiablo

    2003/02/10 at 7:25 am

    The Guy in Question is Leonardo Jimenez I went to Junior Highschool with him. I.S. 237 in flushing. Not that it matters in the least bit of anything at all in the known universe but perhaps now the undercurrents of not will be appeased by forthwright knowldge concerning the imediate and substanstial lack of conceren when you wake in the morning to find your mop painted a garish orangish color.

  • Craig

    2003/02/10 at 7:38 am

    I am always thinking like this when it comes to music videos. I pretend I am the director or creator or something.

    Director: “I know, to be original, we will have CHICKS! Lots of them.”

    Director’s Yes-man: “Yes and the WILL have big butts and dance provocatively.”

    Director: “Good! Draw that up and submit it. We are going to be rich, and maintain our artistic integrity.”

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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