John Mayer Made Really Boring Shoes

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John Mayer has designed a pair of sneakers, and they’re… anticlimactic. He debuted his Nike iD creation on his Instagram page Saturday: a customized pair of Nike Air Max 90s, in gray tones with a hint of neon-green bubbles in the heels. The shoes, named “Spirit Levels,” will be released on July 29, according to Instagram, and will sell through his Shopify page.

Mayer has not officially teamed up with Nike to release these shoes, unlike other celebrity-designed sneakers. After creating his sneakers through Nike iD, he then bought every pair the company would sell him. Interesting way to make these somewhat-boring sneakers already seem hard-to-get…

Why it’s hot/weird/cold:

One has to wonder if John Mayer was really bored and decided to make bland sneakers on Nike iD just to see if his fans would buy them because of him. I’m not impressed. However, if this is a success (which I predict it might be for the amount of ‘sneakerheads’ out there), it will certainly speak to the power of Instagram advertising, and a potential new path to celebrity-brand collaborations.

Source: NY Post

Lemons to $weet Lemonade

Imagine its 1985 – Your flagship star Michael Jordan has just debuted his first signature shoe, the Air Jordan. No one had seen anything like it; a shoe designed and endorsed by a major athlete. The execs at Nike must have been grinning ear to ear at the sales potential. That is…until you get a letter from the NBA banning your product.

So whats a marketer to do? Countless hours, media spend and endorsement money is now at risk.  You leverage the technique of Succès de scandale (French for “success from scandal”) – or make lemonade out of lemons.

Soon after the NBA ban, Nike took their scandal and went on the offensive launching a nationwide print and media campaign including this TV ad:

With that they turned scandal into sensation. That year ( and for many after) the Nike Air Jordan became the best selling sneaker.

So what does this teach us? That there is opportunity in every situation. Sometimes our projects get a bad call, or miss the free throw – but with creative thinking and some grit you can still hit that buzzer beater and win the game.

Augmented Reality Sells Sneakers For Nike

Nike built an augmented reality application called SNKRS for users to gain access to limited-edition sneakers available for purchase. The first sneaker to debut through the app was the Nike SB Dunk High Pro Momofuku, a collaboration with David Chang, creator and owner of the Momofuku restaurant group.

For a user to gain access to the shoe, they have to open the app and point their camera at the menu at Fuki East Village Momofuku in New York. People can still gain access to the shoes elsewhere, as an online menu works as well. Users need to look for a special ‘SNKRS’ label for the app to work properly. Once scanned, the shoes are unlocked and users have an opportunity to purchase a pair, as long as they’re in stock.

Right now, the SNRKS application only works on iOS phones, but Nike plans to release a version for Android soon.

Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot

How do brands use augmented reality in a way that engages their core audience? What’s interesting about this is (1) the audience understanding — sneaker freaks DO care about insider, unique, unlocking-type tasks and (2) the localization factor + partnership factor. However, I have to wonder what the reach is on something like this — is it a lot of effort for a little engagement?

Is Lebron James one of the Best Brand Storytellers of All Time?

As one of the greatest to ever play the game, and perhaps one of the most polarizing figures in sports today, Lebron James’s has seen his share of ups and downs since he joined the NBA in 2003. But there’s no arguing that James has carefully crafted his Brand. At times powerfully emotional – at times wholly contrived – James harnesses his branded partnerships and massive media leverage to tell his story and sell product while he’s at it. Because that’s exactly what a superstar player like James does off the court– he constructs and carefully manages his image. Through media and brand partnerships over the years, James has established himself as one of the most iconic figures in advertising– most notably through his work with Nike.

This week, The Ringer published a retrospective look at James’s Brand narrative, so to speak, “A Reverse Chronology of Lebron James’s Persona, Told Through His Commercials”

Here’s my favorite:

Why It’s Hot:

Watching James’s career through the lens of his ads shows us the story arc of his own personal brand strategy come to life. Juxtaposing James’s Nike spots during his stint in Miami with those that followed once he returned as the Prodigal Son of Cleveland make for an uneasy character study; The Ringer’s Jason Concepcion cynically muses of the spots, “Authenticity is a valuable commodity that can be replicated as necessary”. Yet if this tells us anything as marketers, it’s that strong brands are resilient, despite losses, missteps, and change.

Nike Highlighting the Pros and Cons of Technology in Sports

Gallery

This summer Nike launched the Risk Everything campaign as well as The Phenomenal Shot (with Google). The two campaigns are extremely interesting because they juxtapose the usage of technology in sports. The Risk Everything commercial “The Last Game” shows a … Continue reading

Nike Vending Machine That Only Accepts NikeFuel As Payment

Nike unveiled a public vending machine at the entrance of the heavily trafficked Williamsburg bridge in New York City.  People can only access the goodies inside the machine by scanning a Nike Fuelband and using the accumulated NikeFuel points that can be obtained through the use of the Nike+ platform. The machine inventory consists of Nike merchandise in the form of socks, hats, t-shirts, and other Nike equipment.  It is unclear how long the machine will be at the location and if there are plans for a city-wide campaign featuring more machines.

nike-fuelbox-vending-machine-02-570x425

Why It’s Hot:

Nike has taken a virtual, online only currency and made it useful in the real world.  This gives NikeFuel points more importance as well as creates a unique real-world experience that could previously only be accessed through online portals.

Nike’s “Winner Stays” 2014 World Cup Ad

Last week, Nike released its new four-minute World Cup ad, “Winner Stays.” The ad features a group of youth playing a pick-up game of soccer while imagining themselves as the world’s best soccer players. The ad includes appearances by Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Wayne Rooney, Andres Iniesta and other soccer superstars.

Many believe Nike’s World Cup ad “Write the Future” set the standard for sports advertising in 2012. (You can watch it here) and it is safe to say the new ad did not disappoint.

You can watch the video here:

Why it’s Hot
First, did I mention that this ad, although obviously alluding to one of the world’s biggest sporting competitions, never mentions the World Cup. Why? Perhaps it is because the games are sponsored by Nike’s rival – Adidas.

Additionally to me, it’s also amazing to see the power of international brands taking the largest names and competitors in a single sport and getting them together to film an ad. Also, in a way, I see this as ad sending a positive message to the world. The ad emphasizes the fact that occasionally the world can come together for a for less serious and more peaceful purposes – for the love of the game