Monday, February 25, 2008

It's Not About The Shoes

Stumbled on these three spots on AdsOfTheWorld and felt that I had to share them. From NYC hotshop Anomaly, under the creative direction of W + K Portland legend, Mike Byrne, they’re among the freshest campaigns I’ve seen in a while.

They're so simplistic and insightful that it’s a wonder to me why I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Maybe the reason I like them so much is because I’m jealous. Because they’re written by a “writer’s writer” (Lindsay Lanpher), who clearly loves and respects the people she’s writing for and cares about what she’s saying.

It’s the kind of advertising I myself want to someday do. Sooner than someday. Today.

This is a perfect example of what I call “going beyond the brief.” In this case, the brief was probably to “make Converse authentic again.” Well, she certainly did that, and in doing so managed to inject her own message about how she sees the world.

It will be interesting to see if the rest of America digs these spots as much as I do.

Here’s Pageant:



No voiceover. No music. No sound (with the exception of the first one). Just images and text.

They say absolutely nothing about the shoes. Not even a picture or tagline, save for the date of the company’s launch, 1908.

If anything, they get you thinking. They make the Converse brand a part of your mindset. It establishes itself as being in-line with your being by putting actual words to ideas and thoughts you've most likely toyed with.

They challenge you to challenge the staus quo. They challenge you to get off your ass and do something about it when no one else will.

And they challenge you, without saying it, to do so in a new pair of Chucks.

In this case, it's most definitely not about the shoes.

But it is about the shoes.

dubs. out.


Matt said...

I can see where you get your from these spots, but don't you think the position is a cliche?

1) critique of pop culture and our obsession with it - and 2) You vs. The Man mentality.

Doesn't every "cool" brand try to separate itself from the mainstream? Nike athletes are different from the rest, new Audi spot: for drivers who can park themselves (I like that one), etc.

I mean, isn't it cool to make fun of britney spears?

Keep me posted - I'm a loyal reader.
P.S., I started up a new blog, lemme know what you think.

jd said...

i agree about the whole cliche thing. it is sort of cliche.

but anyone can perpetuate a cliche. it takes balls to do it this way, in this format. even though a lot of brands do it, converse did it in such a memorable way that i can't not remember it, and it makes me want to wear a pair of chucks to show that off.

but yes, it's always fun to make fun of britney spears.

aaron/matt mobile said...

love your blog. im applying to vcu for next fall.

so what if it's 'cliche?' its not an entirely new idea, but the medium and the way those commercials were done are memorable. different. kinda remind me of something banksy would do.. nice blog...

i'm at

Sriram said...

Really Dubs? I found them as phony as Dove. It is aspirational for a brand and ad junkies like us when a brand is more than just the physical product it is. But there is a limit to how long a leap a brand can take. This one seems to really stretch it, in my opinion. You could throw in a bunch other brand shots at the end and the ad would still live, that's what sucks about it for me. You can't do that to ads of great brands. I did like the audio visual presentation though.

jd said...

sriram-- you're right about the idea that converse doesn't "own" what they're saying, and that any brand can slap their logo in there, but i still think the position is good for them, and it will get people talking. the "rebel against the man" mentality fits nicely with them.

and to be honest, my favorite part about these commercials is how ballsy they actually produced them. it was like they almost didn't care. which to me, is cool.