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Jean's List

Stitching together Levi's denim ads

Is it just us, or is everyone having trouble keeping those hypnotically funky Levi's ads straight? Shown as a series for the first time during last month's MTV Video Music Awards, the interwoven spots (now six and counting) are part of Levi's ''They Go On'' campaign, in which an assortment of denim-clad characters drift in and out of each other's lives. ''[The concept] is like Six Degrees of Separation,'' says campaign cocreator Suzanne Finnamore of ad agency Foote Cone & Belding. ''And the physical link is the jeans.'' Herewith, a handy reference guide.

Shawna Malcom

IMPALA MAN The backseat of his white Impala jammed full of stuffed animals, a cowboy says goodbye to a deejay friend, who boards a bus toting a stuffed dino. Carrying the same dino, a teen steps off a bus in Manhattan and then passes a woman buying a hot dog, which she ...

CAR CHASE ... feeds to her dog, Max. A robbery occurs at a Chinese restaurant next door, and in a Kojak send-up, a cabbie is recruited by a cop to catch the moped-riding thief. An elderly Asian woman, watching the action ...

ICE CREAM MAN ... enters a geriatrics-only club where the Impala Man deejay provides the grooves. Meanwhile, an ice cream truck vendor quizzes his pint-size patrons on Jack Kerouac and Charlie Parker, while three teens push a car into a gas station where a Lenny Kravitz roadie yaks on the pay phone as ...

BAG-BOY FANTASY ... Kravitz (as himself) flips his dreads in a rest room. The roadie calms an angry tour manager, who is standing in a grocery checkout line. The bag boy, hearing of Kravitz, imagines himself as the rocker; the manager sees himself as a bag boy, saying ''Can I carry this to your car?'' A car dealer tells a woman ...

TEST DRIVE ... to take a test drive. As the salesman rides in back, the woman picks up her boyfriend and heads to a coffee shop. Inside, a pigtailed girl contemplates which of two ambiguously labeled rest-room doors (rooster? hen?) she should enter until ...

CAR WASH ... an androgynous figure emerges from a rest room. Someone drops a plate, eliciting applause from patrons. The clapping segues into the song ''Car Wash,'' and a man driving a Gremlin rolls down his windows before he enters a car wash. As he exits, he nearly collides with the Impala Man.

Originally posted Oct 31, 1997 Published in issue #403 Oct 31, 1997 Order article reprints