In 1995 Levi's had to work hard to get their new 'Taxi' advert, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, on air. The spot followed a lecherous cab driver who gets more than he bargains for when he picks up Zaldy, even then a well known drag artist, who takes great delight in his discomfort.
The Advertising Standards Authority originally refused to air it outside of late night viewing. Press interest in the issue lead to them revisiting the decision and allowing it to air after 8pm.
Roy Edmondson, an openly gay executive and Levi UK marketing director for the campaign, explained: "We always wanted it to be a positive message. Levi's in Europe have had a very masculine image, maybe be too strong, and so we were not only trying to get the idea of unisex, but also playing on the fit. The idea of creepy cab drivers drooling over a pretty girl in back of cab, thinking he may have a chance, I guess that is a stereotype. Then we switch it by that girl being transgender -- we believed that the shaver bit gave Zaldy the power in the commercial, then the creepy cab driver became even more uncool."
(source - adrespect.)
You can watch the full advert below:
In 1996 the ad was spoofed in a spot by Ford Escort starring TV personality Lily Savage.