Levi Strauss boldly combines poetry and nostalgia in new ad campaign

While I dimly know the history of Levi Strauss & Co. -- its connection to the wild-west gold rush roots of the America I call my own, its story heavy with lore and imagery of the original 49ers panning for gold and hammering railroad spikes -- this connection has weakened with its advertising messages in the past few decades.

A recent ad campaign for its flagship 501 brand, "Live Unbuttoned," was nothing if not sexy. In fact, it was all sex, with little left to the imagination. "Who do you want to unbutton?" the print ads asked. Bold.

But sex doesn't always sell.