The musicians and execs share the pitches, punch-ups and phone calls behind the adverts that took Stiltskin, Babylon Zoo and Mr Oizo to No 1 – and flipped music and advertising’s relationship on its head
Amid black and white Ansel Adams-style cinematography, two Amish sisters spy on a topless man bathing in a Yosemite river. Suddenly, a peaceful choral soundtrack gave gives way to bone-shaking guitar: Inside, the debut single by Scottish grunge band Stiltskin.
Thus began one of the strangest cultural wrinkles of the 1990s: when Levi’s became a jeans company that could also score UK chart hits. Inside was built around an addictive riff that still sounds fresh, and the advert, entitled Creek, shot it to the top of the UK charts. Over the next few years, the likes of Babylon Zoo, Smoke City, Mr Oizo and Norman Cook’s pre-Fatboy Slim project Freak Power would also score major success off the back of a placement in Levi’s witty, often sexually provocative adverts.