Levi’s 2007 Collection Launch Ad: Dangerous Liaisons


According to Digital Arts, this Dangerous Liaisons ad was launched somewhere in mid-Feb of 2007.



Here’s the genius team behind it:

Agency: BBH, London
Creative Director: Caroline Pay
Agency Producer: Davud Karbassioun
Art Director: Steve Wakelam (art direction), Dean Wei (typography)


Production Company: Rattling Stick 
Director: Ringan Ledwidge
Producer: Sally Humphries
DP: Alwin Kuchler
Post Production: The Mill, London
Audio Post: Aaron Reynolds @ Wave Studios, London
Offline Editor: Richard Orrick @ Work Post Production, London

Music: “Strange Love” by Little Annie (see below)
Filming location: Prague

The cast:
Male character: Raphaël Personnaz
Female character: Léa Seydoux




Levi’s Europe website  used to have the making of Dangerous Liaisons posted up, but unfortunately when I check today, they had already taken it down.

Pity, because it was enjoyable to hear what the people at bbh had to say. Luckily, I – the ever conscientious student (not) – had taken down some notes. Here’s what some of them had to say:

 Nigle Bogle (CEO of bbh):

“This campaign is about the new seasonal looks at .. . showcasing in a way that acknowledges it’s coming from the Original. This is what we are as Levi’s, we’re not trying to be anybody else…”

Caroline Pay (Creative Director):

“Receiving a brief for a campaign is always exciting. The times when you get a Levi’s brief, you times that by ten.”

The brief given was described as “two-fold”: Making original people feel great in Levi’s and reinstate Levi’s as the original jeans. bbh aimed for the big thought that Levi’s could have that would run for the next 5 , 10 years.

They hit on the idea of a simple time travel story that would show the history of Levi’s, but still keeping it “sexy, playful, fun” – important aspects in the Levi’s brand.






STRANGE LOVE by Little Annie

The soundtrack for Levi’s Dangerous Liaisons is “Strange Love’ from Little Annie’s Durtro Jnana album ‘Songs from the Coal Mine Canary’ .

Little Annie Songs from the Coalmine Canary at Amazon.com

Strange Love

by Little Annie and Antony Hegarty

Once I had a strange love,
a mad sort of insane love,
a love so fast and fierce,
I thought that I would die.

Yes once I had a strange love,
a pure but very pain love,
a love that burned like fire through a field.

And once I had a strange love,
a publicly acclaimed love,
the kind of love as seen in magazines.

And once I had a strange love,
a beautiful and vain love,
a love I think that’s better left in dreams.

Strangers love,
Strangers love

And once I had a strange love,
A morally inflamed love,
We’d go on holy battles in the night.

And then there was that strange love,
that vulgar and profane love,
the kind of love that we don’t talk about.

Yes once I had a strange love,
a lying infidel love,
who wove in stories like Scheherazade.

And once I had a strange love,
a flaky white kiki love,
we ran so fast
we almost spilled our guts.

You see I’ve had some strange love,
some good, some bad, some plain love,
some so so love,
so what?
and c’est la vie

But just let me proclaim love
that out of all this strange love
You’re the strangest love I’ve ever known.

The short 10 minute presentation I totally burnt midnight oil for!




Song lyrics taken from Duncan McLeod’s TV Ad Land.
Thanks Duncan!











Are Designers Useful?

May 17, 2008


Alice Rawsthorn at IHT wrote once more on One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), a year and a half after she first introduced the non-profit organization and their goal of providing “children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves” by developing:
A $100 educational laptop.
It’s the most talked-about design project winning awards left, right and centre, setting a new standard for humanitarian design and of course, causing a great deal of controversy (amongst environmentalists, industry techies, educators, development economists, designers).      

Some question its feasibility, others wonder about its mission authenticity while even more are just… sceptical about the whole project. Check out OLPCNews – it’s an independent site giving a variety of opinions on the subject – or Wikipedia for a quick overview.

For me, I just think it’s remarkable how design contribute so greatly to humanitarian efforts. Remarkable and relieving.

I was following the news on the China earthquake last week, thinking,

“People are dying by the thousands, medics are helping, rescue teams are risking their lives, volunteer organizations are rallying, humanitarian forces are provided food aid ….” Everyone was being  useful and I couldn’t figure out where design had a place.

It felt like the old debate about the arts being a luxury – how basic necessities called out to be satisfied before one could appreciate Mozart or Les Miserables or that $XXmillion sculpture.

I’ve always disagreed, taking the stand that the arts are the part of life for enjoyment, that if you were poor, watching a play could make you forget your worries for that period, ensconced in a alternate reality.

But the China disaster casted doubts and made me wonder if all that thinking was too naïve. If you’re a doctor, you could help. If you’re a fireman, you could help. If you’re a designer…….

Where’s the part of designers in disasters?

Are designers useless?

OLPS’s initiative reassured me that it wasn’t so. Designers do help, but in a beforehand, behind-the-scenes as opposed to in the actual situation.

That rescue tool kit? A designer made sure it’s as efficient and compact as can be. The $100 computer? It’ll increase learning-interest, subsequent literacy rates and build a more progressive nation. (A bit grand of a statement, but you know what I mean.)

Instead of helping in the now, the designer helped out then to make sure the situation later would be better.

So while not all designs contribute to the good of the world, it’s enough that there are some great ones that do.






Recently, I picked up a copy of CMYK* #40 because one of its features, Get the Design Job You Want, caught my eye. I guess I heard an inner voice yelling, “Hey lost sheep, you need this!”


But how much could an article tell me?


I’ve seen self-help books a 100-pages thick that claim to “clinch that perfect (fill in the blank) job” or “chart your path to your dream occupation”. When I flip through them in the library, they either leave me laughing to myself or in despair.


Why? Because you’d have to be the perfect human specimen to get all of it right.


So excuse the scepticism – something that doubled when I realised that the article was only 4 pages long. I was expecting a manual of golden rules, even though logically I knew it was a magazine. Yes, please to meet you, Illogical is my middle name at times.


However, in the end, the limited length of the article worked in Jeff Domke’s ** favour. It was succinct, it got me thinking and he delivered what he said he would – shedding light on how to make the right moves to get that job you want.


And he would know, because for his first 14 months, he made all the wrong moves before he finally learnt to make the right ones. Saving us from learning it the hard way, he gives us 10 Steps:


(Note: Not the full article)


1. Define the job experience that you want

 What kind of designer do I want to become?

What work environment is best for me?

What’s my unique value?

 What do I want to learn next?


2. Learn from the masters

Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi

– “All Access: The Making of Thirty Extraordinary Graphic Designers” by Stefan G. Bucher

What risks should I take

How does my fear influence my search?

What will happen if I give up?


3. Get great photographs of your design work


4. Film yourself presenting your portfolio


5. Go here the jobs are

Which cities specialize in a certain type of design?

Which cities hire many junior designers/

How poor can I stand being?

How much time can I spend searching for a job?

How can I quickly connect with local designers in a new city?


6. Join the AIGA and get involved


7. Go on 3 studio tours


8. Win a design competition


9. Find Your weakness, and improve on it

Does every project I make look the same?

How is my attitude? How is my ego?

Do I understand the business of design?

Can I present work well?


10. In conclusion, start over

“Every time I thought I had failed, I was actually learning how to perfect the job-hunting process. Eventually my growing knowledge and abilities caught up with my job ambitions. Yours will too. Just start over…. Just keep pushing forward.


Take big risks, make big mistakes and design everything you want in life”



Domke’s article is a good start to anybody wanting to go into the industry. Answering all the questions he poses is a daunting task, but it gave me a structure to work with rather than floundering around.


I know I don’t have to kill myself and answer all the questions before I try out for that first job but at least now I know how to go about it and will be more prepared.


I’m on my way to start with #1 tonight.







*    A design publication that states its sole intention as “presenting outstanding student creative”


**  Jeff Domke is an award-winning graphic designer. As a former internship coordinator for Landor Associates & an AIGA mentoring director, he has gained firsthand insight into the challenges of today’s emerging designers.