Set in the 1950s, he's wearing "Blues Brothers"/"Risky Business"-type shades, which he removes. He walks up to a washer and empties a bag of rocks into it, as two boys watch. He strips down to his boxer shorts, putting his clothes into the washer as the women watch in surprise.

He sits down next to a chubby man and two giggling women, then smiles himself.

The end line says, "Now available in stonewashed." (A very popular style of the jeans in the '80s.)

This commercial appears to have little to nothing gay going on in it and, yet, the ad agency that created it submitted it to Commercial Closet as one that the British gay community adopted as its own. It is a classic example of "gay vague" that could have something to do with the way people perceive Kamen's look, the seeming connection to the 1985 gay-themed film "My Beautiful Launderette" starring Daniel Day-Lewis, or just the fact that it is an early use of beefcake to sell clothing.
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Company: Levi Strauss & Co.
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: Levi's
Ad Title: Laundrette
Business Category: Fashion/Apparel
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United Kingdom
Region: Europe
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Year: 1985
Target: Mainstream
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Theme(s)

Gay Vague

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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Nick Kamen walks into a laundromat to the tune of Marvin Gaye's "Through the Grapevine."

Set in the 1950s, he's wearing "Blues Brothers"/"Risky Business"-type shades, which he removes. He walks up to a washer and empties a bag of rocks into it, as two boys watch. He strips down to his boxer shorts, putting his clothes into the washer as the women watch in surprise.

He sits down next to a chubby man and two giggling women, then smiles himself.

The end line says, "Now available in stonewashed." (A very popular style of the jeans in the '80s.)

This commercial appears to have little to nothing gay going on in it and, yet, the ad agency that created it submitted it to Commercial Closet as one that the British gay community adopted as its own. It is a classic example of "gay vague" that could have something to do with the way people perceive Kamen's look, the seeming connection to the 1985 gay-themed film "My Beautiful Launderette" starring Daniel Day-Lewis, or just the fact that it is an early use of beefcake to sell clothing.

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Dimitris Christofileas , Luton, UK
I really like this ad i think its a classic!

Alessandro Cintoli , Rome, Italy
I do remember this commercial pretty well, as if it were aired yesterday. It was one of the first ones I saw on the now defunct Eurochannel, a satellite service based in London. I believe that the ad was adopted by the gay community because the movie "My beautiful Launderette" by Stephen Frears was shown the year before. Very likely, this commercial relates to it. Besides, it was the first time I can remember seeing a man strip to his shorts for non-medical reasons.

Jim , North Battleford, SK, Canada
I can remember this ad also. I never put a gay label on it; I just loved it since he was so good looking.

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