February is a momentous occasion for Jamaica and reggae music as the country celebrates Reggae Month. And there’s no better timing for American clothing company Levi Strauss & Co, known worldwide for its Levi’s brand of denim jeans, to unveil its new advertising campaign to commemorate its 150th anniversary.
As part of its sesquicentennial celebration, Levi’s launched a marketing effort highlighting the timeless appeal of its iconic 501 jeans. Dubbed “The Greatest Story Ever Worn,” the campaign debuted at the Grammy Awards, showcasing three short films that capture Levi’s jeans’ global popularity and influence.
The advertisement encapsulates the cultural significance of Levi’s and reggae music, showcasing how Levi’s jeans have been a staple in people’s wardrobes worldwide for generations.
One of the films, “Precious Cargo,” directed by Martin de Thurah and Melina Matsoukas, takes us back to 1970 when Levi’s 501 jeans arrived by boat in Kingston, Jamaica, for the first time. The film opens with a montage of vintage footage of people putting on Levi’s jeans and dancing to the classic Toots & The Maytals hit “54-46 Was My Number.” The caption reads, “When the 501 jeans made it to Kingston, Kingston made it their own.”
The historical-based film highlights how the small island of Jamaica has influenced the world with its unique style, rhythm, and soul.
The advertisement was a huge hit, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The combination of Toots and The Maytals’ music and Levi’s iconic brand helped drive home the message that both Levi’s and reggae music are ageless and continue to bring people together and inspire even after all these years.
Toots and The Maytals, a legendary reggae band from Jamaica, formed in the 1960s and are considered one of the genre’s pioneers. Their upbeat, soulful sound and powerful lyrics that address social and political issues have made a lasting impact on reggae music and various cultures globally.