advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

How do you prefer your real fake?

Does this mean Jesus wore Hi-Tecs? I guess so. I’m over virals trying too hard to make you believe they’re real, especially when the natural vibe of a brand is undermined. (Shhh, it’s okay. I wear Hi-Tec, I can say what I want.) What always sold the idea of impossible feats in the world of cartoons was simply, speed. If Wile E. Coyote just pedaled his feet fast enough, he would be able to (insert gravity-defying task like fly, walk on water, etc.).*

To sell real world motion and the feasibility of someone pulling off this amazing amazingness, a person runs normally over a ramp in the water. Missing though is the notion of any real sense of speed. Small difference, but it’s all the difference. (I won’t even touch the dialog or the imagineered sport of Liquid Mountaineering.)

That little hint of something that ain’t quite right undermines believability. Not helping is what parkour and freerunning have accomplished for real, which makes it harder for me to want to believe this. As a Lone Gunman, I want to believe.

I’m torn though between stfu and playing the role of detective from advertising’s Internal Affairs. The Michael Vick Powerade spot had the same thing working, but at least there was an absurdity to it such that you never *really* thought the drink made you that strong. (Did you? Say no, please, or else leave your mtlb badge on the desk on the way out.)

For their part, Nike and Spike with Jordan did address the idea that shoes outweighred skill, will and genetics, right, Money?

Taken a little further, this also speaks to the idea of a brand being authentic, honest, and/or open.

Is a water repellency claim stretched to absurd lengths any different than what happened with the FTC and New Balance? (Shhh, part 2. I also wear New Balance.) So they sold people on the idea of “American Made” when in reality, “70%” passes for American Made in their world. Can’t we just do pass-fail?

In this case, New Balance has drawn attention to itself over an issue that’s very real to their brand, even as they try to be transparent about it in responding to customers. By comparison, Hi-Tec just has people wondering if an obviously absurd video is fake or not. Honestly, I’m not sure which place I want to be in.

Or if it even matters.


*I’m quite sure cartoons are also responsible for the Manswers logic some of you freaks carry around in the back of your heads: “If I’m in an elevator and it falls, I’ll be okay if I jump at the last second, right?”

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