Friday, May 29, 2009
By the mid-'70s, the trippy, drug-inspired imagery of the hippies had filtered it way into the American mainstream - so much so that even TV commercials were becoming increasingly weird, colorful and psychedelic. The Levis commercials of the era are easily some of the most bizarre ads ever aired on network TV. They were like 30-second, corporate-sponsored acid trips.
Here's an incredible, Yellow Submarine-ish mind-warper called Evolution, featuring narration by Ken Nordine, the originator of Word Jazz.
The Stranger is another psychedelic freak-out featuring narration by Nordine. Back in the '70s people probably thought this mysterious, glowing stranger was doing these poor, colorless folks a favor by spicing up their wardrobes... But to modern eyes it kind of looks like he's transforming a bunch of emo kids into circus clowns.
Here's yet another bluejean headtrip featuring Nordine's narration. This one features some CGI effects that were surprisingly advanced for the era. You could easily believe the featureless, CGI walking figures were from the late '80s, or later... But they would be just as freaky in any era.
I kind of hate the sneering, feather-haired, very '70s couple in this ad. They meet a pair of robot aliens who just want to be pals, and they look at them like they're trash. (Sure, the robot aliens may be made from trash, but that's no reason to treat them like trash.) Well, these robots are still cool as heck 30 years later, while the denim twins look like extras from The Bionic Woman.
Here's an unforgettably peculiar, very Heavy Metal-esque commercial featuring the "Acclidian Warlord" who gave a generation of kids nightmares. Even now, it's hard to imagine anything more terrifying than an Acclidian Warlord telling you that he has "long admired the fit of your Levi's jeans." There's no way that ends well.
Sadly, just when Gen-X kids had at last forgotten the Acclidian Warlord and gotten on with our lives, he turned up in this ad from the '80s to traumatize us all over again. He's still out there somewhere, even now... Probably lurking in your closet, waiting for you to fall asleep so he can eat your jeans.
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