Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Walt Whitman Stars in Levi's Commercial

Slate magazine writes about the new Levi’s commercial that features not only

--Walt Whitman’s poetry
--but Walt Whitman’s ACTUAL voice, reading his poetry.

Usually I’m not one for using dead celebrities to hawk products they may or may not have endorsed (I remember the Ernest Hemingway furniture by Thomasville, and what about all those khakis Gap moved?), but Slate suggests that Levi’s and Whitman might actually be a good match:

“Whitman is an involuntary spokes-celebrity here, and perhaps you deem this ad a desecration of all he stood for. I can't say I blame you. But were you forced to choose a clothing line for our favorite barbaric yawper to rep, you might choose this one. Levi's is the rare American brand that was actually around when Whitman was alive. And there's logic to this match between a quintessentially American poet and a quintessentially American product. Whitman's verse allows Levi's to evoke not only its proud history but a forward-looking present—the pioneering, American mindset that Whitman captured and that Levi's hopes to embody.”

Plus, it’s just a cool commercial, and maybe good art puts me in a mind of forgiveness.

(The Slate article has a link to the commercial if you haven’t seen it. I really love it.)


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.