Thursday, August 27, 2009

Over the Top Mega Adidas Commercial

Lordy, Adidas pulled off a classic party themed commercial with hella pop icons in the mix and Frankie Valli/The Four Seasons - Beggin' (Palooski Re-Edit) playing in the background.

Party attendees included music stars Method Man, Redman, Russell Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, Katy Perry, Estelle, Young Jeezy, the Ting Tings, and Missy Elliott, with sport stars, David Beckham, Kevin Garnett, and so much more.

Oh, and there's hipster skaters flying everywhere and mods riding their classic Vespas pass graffiti artists at work. Do you love it or what?!


Anonymous said...

Not sure what to think about this. It's very affecting but at the same time so slickly calculated to take into account all these different demographics, read market segments. The flow makes it appear to be one big inclusive party but it's not. These are different subcultures. Are we to believe they are united by allegiance to a shoe? The transitions from group to group, represented by parties, is effortless. Is the transition from subculture to subculture equally effortless in reality? If it is, then the tie is capitalism and marketing. The commodification of used clothing, old/used vespas, skateboards, graffiti, and DIY art set along side champagne, designer jeans, diamond earrings, and celebrity. The reality of subcultures is that they have exclusivity, rights and rules - ALONG with trappings, possessions, or activities. And those trappings and possessions mean something different to each group of owners, though they may all derive pleasure from them. So yes they may all wear a similar shoe. They may all have parties and enjoy dancing. But I don't think they are united by a shoe. I don't think they are driven by the same motivators. And I don't think drift between subcultures is as easy as it is made to appear. The marketing message is that possession is at the heart of culture not values, and that's as capitalist a message as one is going to find.

It's interesting that the opening sequence of graffiti artists tagging and writing over Adidas branding in the form of a billboard is dropped in favor of designer jeans, gold chains, happy celebrities, and a shoe sinking slowly in a swimming pool. I guess ultimately DIY gets trumped by $.

kieulinh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kieulinh said...

Great insight, Anonymous! Though thinking capitalism has penetrated all forms of popular culture may sound revolting, that is probably the reality. For the groups (types, styles, clicks) in the commercial that represent different subcultures, indeed, sneakers are a very powerful commonality where they all can agree of its importance to their specific identities.
Skaters for instance pride themselves for being "street" and that includes wearing only certain sneakers. Try to find an 80s skater that would not have sold their mother for an Air Jordan. Oh, and Vans is basically their uniform. Hipster, on the other hand, prefer Converse All Stars.
Sports are also all about sneakers, a partnership most famously introduced by the evil masters, Nike. Kids as far as the Philippines believe that basketball and sneakers are as American as apple pie and they too want a slice of it. And let's forget hip hop culture is all about image! You have to look fine and that includes a perfectly white pair of sneakers. Sneakers and garments in general was actually one way many hip hop artists were finally able to make serious money (think Russell Simmons).
So, in many ways, like it or not, this Adidas commercial does correctly represent capitalist brand name sneakers as the unifier. Now, can mods and sport stars party together? Not likely, but that’s where the fantasy of marketing comes to play. Most likely any viewer of the commercial will fine someone in the video they can relate to or admire. Genius move for a costly, but, arguably effective commercial!