Bitchin’ Ads The Tip Of The Iceberg For Nike

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The Wall Street Journal is running a great article on how Nike is reaching well beyond the sports world to find inspiration for their lifestyle products.

At Nike, the drive to recruit under-the-radar influencers like Mr. Cartoon is on the rise and a key part of the company’s strategy. While other sneaker-makers have also called on cultural soothsayers to shape their aesthetic agenda, Chief Executive Mark Parker has taken the practice all the way to the executive suite — acting as the company’s ambassador of cool.
“I have a personal interest in popular culture and the influence of culture on the consumer landscape,” says Mr. Parker, rattling off the worlds he turns to for inspiration: interior design, cuisine, art and music among them.
In addition to Mr. Cartoon, Mr. Parker has fostered Nike collaborations with a New York graffiti artist named Lenny Futura, the industrial designer Marc Newson and a pair of twin Brazilian muralists known as Os Gêmeos.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.