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Trash Talk: Levi’s explosions met with a “meh”

by Nick Faber
Friday, July 15th, 2011

The Portuguese artist Vhils is known for his “destructive” approach to art, carving murals into public walls, transforming abandoned billboards, and often blowing things up.

So when Levi’s (with W+K Amsterdam) hired Vhils to create murals on Berlin walls for its Go Forth campaign, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that he would also blow them up. And that Levi’s would make a video of it.

This morning, ad journalists who have seen the video are wondering, So what?

AdFreak’s Gabriel Beltrone says Levi’s “attempt to look cool” is in contention with Beck’s Green Door to Nowhere for “Artsy Advertiser of the week:”

Exploding murals is apparently a signature medium for Vhils, who have a whole abstract theoretical line as to why it’s like archaeology. We’re not sure about all that, and the whole slow-motion thing ends up feeling being a bit melodramatic, and the boom a bit anemic.

Steve Hall at AdRants says exposions are a tired way of beingĀ (wannabe) cool:

Every last tactic used to appear cool and hip and all connected and shit has been used. And used. And used. Over and over. And over again. And again. But, apparently, a good explosion is always worth a minute or two of your time. Or at least that what Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdamn thinks.

Alice Arsham, of the French marketing blog MinuteBuzz, calls the video, roughly translated, “least impressive” and says it’s reminiscent of Levi’s own ads from 2006.

So, have slow-motion explosions had their time in the sun? What about really, really slow slow-motion explosions?

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