Lee Cooper jeans: don’t be a dummy

THE 70s and 80s was a time when it was common to see television adverts for jeans on television. Think of a brand of jeans… Levi’s will come to the forefront of many peoples minds, but, as a bit of a memory jog, do you remember Wrangler, Lee, and Brutus? We know that Levi’s heart is still pounding away and shows no sign of going to the denim cemetery any time soon; Wrangler and Lee seem to be still ticking away, and, after a trawl of the internet, I’m not sure if Brutus is still alive, or dead.

There is one more brand that I’d like to add into the mix, Lee Cooper. I know this brand is still going as I’ve recently bought a pair of their jeans. Why have I decided to write a retro post about a specific television advert for Lee Cooper? Surely, the 1985 Levi’s 501 advert with Nick Kamen stripping off in the laundrette to the smooth vocals of Marvin Gaye would be the clear choice? I’m afraid not.

Don’t be a dummy, move like honey, don’t be a dummy, use your money… mine’ll suit ya… Lee Cooper!

So, why have I gone for the 1979 Lee Cooper ad? In that year, I was nine-years-old. Now, having gone past the half century mark in age years, I still remember the music and lyrics sung by Gary Numan in his unique style… “Don’t be a dummy, move like honey, don’t be a dummy, use your money… mine’ll suit ya… Lee Cooper!

The advert itself: a gateaux containing numerous layers all delivering something different. We are greeted by the layer that oozes style as the guy and girl throw their heads in the air in a synchronised fashion. Are they models or dancers? Maybe both. It’s not long before we reach the dark mysterious layer – the night time setting and the punk rocker looking dummies open their illuminous green eyes and come to life. Will this be a late night attack of the dummies? Luckily not. The guy and girl move sharply into a dance routine, which adds a layer of intrigue from the dummies. As the ad continues, there’s addition layers of style, attitude, coolness, realisation, and fun to complete a heavily stacked gateaux.

So, in conclusion, this is why I’ve gone for the Lee Cooper ad over Levi’s: the Levi’s ad is a two layer gateaux (3 at a push) consisting of roughly 90% sex appeal and 10% intrigue, whereas Lee Cooper is much more complex: 10% intrigue, 10% mystery, 10% fear, 40% dance, 10% attitude, 10% fun (the dummies do smile towards the end of the advert), and the final 10% is for the soundtrack (it was written exclusively for this advert).

This Lee Cooper jeans advert is a delicious gateaux that stands out in an expensive cake shop. Don’t be a dummy, choose it and tuck in… you won’t be disappointed.


Want more retro? Check out the Retrohen homepage and select your retro subject, and also check out the fabulous retro podcast by Old Skool Movements here

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