Levi's 501
Levi's 501

NEW YORK, Jan 31, 2002/ — After announcing an eight percent decline in sales, to $4.26 billion, earlier this month, many are surprised to hear that Levi Strauss & Co. has announced the imminent debut of its most expensive commercial to date.

The more than 600 people who lost their jobs when Levi’s shuttered plants in Scotland less than two weeks ago were particularly shocked to hear of the new high-priced ad over the weekend.

The company reportedly sank about $3.5 million into the 60-second spot, shot by director Jonathan Glazer. The commercial uses Matrix-style special effects to portray a young man and woman crashing through walls, running up trees and jumping into the night sky. Levi’s said it took about six months to complete.

Most surprising though is the ad’s soundtrack. Rather than the soul or dance music that usually sets the tone in jeans ads, Handel’s Sarabande accompanies this young Levi-clad couple on their intense adventures.

The commercial is the last in a trio for Levi’s engineered jeans line, and debuts next month.

The San-Francisco based company is trying to pull itself out of a five-year slump that has seen competitors like Diesel, Earl Jeans and Tommy Hilfiger encroach on its territory.