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Adbusters vs. Nike

Adbusters takes on Nike at its own game
Just Screw It!
Adbusters takes on the might of Nike

William MacDougall

"phil knight had a dream. he'd sell shoes. he'd sell dreams. he'd get rich. he'd use sweatshops if he had to. then along came a new shoe. plain. simple. cheap. fair. designed for only one thing: kicking phil's ass."

So goes the opening salvo in a marketing war of words with the twin aims of knocking Nike from its sport shoe empire perch and launching a very new and special type of sneaker, the 'blackspot'. Ah, you think, yet another pretender to the sport shoe throne; doubtless promising revolutionary mid-sole technology, unique air-sole heel units and all other manner of bells and whistles designed to entice the hapless sports shoe consumer away from Phil Knight's Nike.

But no, this isn't an attempt by Adidas or Reebok or any of the other major brands at throwing off Nike's extremely lucrative pitch. Instead, the blackspot (which resembles the classic Converse Chuck Taylor shoe - more of which later), is the brainchild of Kalle Lasn, a sexagenarian Estonian and the brains behind Adbusters (the Vancouver based anti-consumption magazine). A major player in the 'culture jamming movement' which essays corporate hegemony and consumerism by parodying contemporary advertising (so that Absolut Vodka becomes Absolute End or Absolute Hangover), Lasn has decided to up the culture jamming ante by choosing to forego the comparatively safer pastures of advertising parody for the altogether more competitive world of shoe manufacturing.

Full:  http://www.sevenoaksmag.com/features/06_screw_it.html

homepage: homepage: http://www.SevenOaksMag.com

Lasn is now selling shoes 31.Mar.2004 10:22


Adbusters is now in the retail business, having bought an abandoned Nike factory in South Korea and putting their energy into "kicking Phil Knight's ass'by creating brand loyalty to their "Black Spot" brand. This reduces the credibility of Adbusters to zero.

I canceled my 11-year subscription. Too bad.