advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I never got a short film with my Sportz.

Just playin some b ball with my new kicks.

When we were kids and couldn’t afford Converse or even Keds, we’d get like, Sportz or some other knockoff from Caldor (now Kohl’s). It sucked though because everyone knew how broke your parents must’ve been because you were wearing them. Maybe not even broke, but your mom at one point had to whip out the tried and true “I’m not paying all that money for... these are just as good.”

Humiliation ensued.

So, on the L yesterday, I spied a pretty cool in your face poster for Protege MVP with Al Harrington, just one element from the DraftFCB-produced campaign. Then I saw the Sears name in the lower right and was like, damn, this is Sears? Since when are they going back to selling their own shit? It’s not, it’s Kmart. (The shoe’s been out for a few months.)

Then they told me to go the Zone for more info, which I did. And now, Imma playa according to the copy in the sentence up top. It’s easily the loneliest G in Suburbia writing this stuff, or someone at the agency’s been playing homie again because it feels so forced. Another issue for another time perhaps.*

Special edition sneakers by athletes aren’t new obviously, but a low-priced alternative that has some cred attached is a relatively new thing. (Stephon Marbury and his Starbury.) Designer Dallas Stokes and Harrington built “a collection of practically priced, high quality, footwear and apparel.” Wait for it... “Exclusively at Kmart.”

Loss of cred ensues?

Not sure. Bill Walton wasn’t working with any designer on my $7 Ked imitations. And I damn sure didn’t get a short film along with it. You applaud the effort though to bring an inexpensive shoe to the... what, it’s $34.99?

Hmmm. So much for a “give back” brand on the market that all kids can afford.

So now is this Kmart’s sweet spot, tying in with athletes that might boost the brand’s cred and not helping out the community of “us” as the TV spot implies? I almost used the word street cred with Kmart, sorry.) Nice use of the “dropping dimes” snitch phrase though. Props! Still, $35 is a lot of money for many families to drop on their kids’ sneakers.

Say it’s no problem for yours though, will it then persuade you to buy if you know where Al came from and the struggles he went through, or is this just part of the standard Endorsement 2.0 package for brands now?

(Image via Brand Anthropologist.)

*Whenever racism or diversity is brought up in Ad Age, that’s what apologists in the comments section don’t get. It’s not just about how many “different” people work in an agency, it’s about getting the actual message right without offending someone using cultural stereotypes. Will you please every group with an ad, no. You just shouldn’t make it so easy to offend a select few though.

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