By: Brian Amato, Eileen Min Byul Kim, Maegan Nevins, and Daniel Froats
A few days ago while reading Yahoo News I came across an advertising article titled “Hotness Comes In All Shapes and Sizes.” It was a campaign tagline for Levis new Curve I.D jeans that was coming under heavy criticism. Intrigued, I decided to take a look at the ad for myself. I read the tagline at the top of the page, looked down, and then became very confused. All three women looked almost exactly identical, and had similar body types. I thought to myself, is this some kind of joke? When reading the campaign tagline, a person would expect to see a number of women with a much broader range of sizes, however, all three woman in the ad are size 6 and below.
As if the Ad’s tagline and photo weren’t enough, the statement below the ad only ads to the backlash and criticism. The statement reads, “At Levi’s, we believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. That’s why we developed Curve ID – a revolutionary fit system focusing on a woman’s shape and proportions, not her size,” a statement reads on the Levi’s ad.” According to Anna North at Jezebel.com, Levi’s confirmed that the ad itself was actually from their 2010 campaign, however, it was unclear if certain magazines were still running the old ad. If this was the case, I would suggest that Levi’s make sure they put an end to this specific ad, and even ads, which are similar to it. All three women in the ad above are actually smaller than the average American woman. This fact alone should have been taken into account when this ad was produced. If your target market is American Woman, then you need to appeal to all American women, especially when you are positioning a product on the basis that woman of all shapes and sizes will enjoy it.
A Levi’s spokeswoman stated: “In terms of the models in our Curve ID campaign, each of the women in our advertising reflects a different type of curve within the Levi's Curve ID system – by no means is the advertising representative of all women's body types across the globe.” “ While we continue to improve on our fits, we're always looking at ways to ensure our marketing efforts are more reflective of our diverse customer base. As a company, our goal has always been to make everyone feel confident and comfortable in Levi's jeans. We certainly value all feedback.”
According to Piper Weiss at Shine.yahoo.com, “In the past year, Levi’s has had so much success with their Curve ID line, they've expanded the range of cuts and styles, notably adding a larger shape option called Supreme, "designed to solve the fit frustrations of the curviest women." Since the line is so successful, I have trouble understanding why Levi’s won’t release an ad similar to the one above, except with multiple woman with different shapes and sizes. I think it would send the right message to Levi’s “diverse customer base,” would create greater brand loyalty, and would make the consumers demand for the Curve ID line less elastic.