New Age Development: Music-Based Advertising
Since the early 80’s, the sneaker industry has become one of the most competitive industries on the planet. Tennis shoes went from sporty function to high fashion and became icons among pop culture demographic. Professional athletes, rappers, break dancers, and the general youth were the main reasons for the outbreak of sneakers in the fashion industry. Sneakers became one of the most sought after accessories not only in America, but all around the world.
Actors or professional athletes were once the primary sources of advertising for sneaker companies. Actor Will Smith advertised for the French sneaker brand La Coq Sportif on his sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which appealed to a young African American audience. Nike brand signed NBA rookie shooting guard Michael Jordan and began a series of Air Jordan sneakers to attract aspiring, young African American athletes. Executives of the basketball shoe company Converse signed a deal with basketball legend Larry Bird to target white basketball fans of all ages. “Just For Kicks: Documentary On The Sneaker Culture” demonstrates a change in advertising, a change that relies heavily on music to attract a specific demographic. In 1983, just while becoming one of the most popular rap groups across America, Run-D.M.C. made a fashion statement by wearing Adidas tennis shoes with no laces. They even made a song titled “My Adidas” and started a fashion trend among the hip-hop community. Adidas Marketing Director Angelo Anastasio witnessed the widespread popularity of Adidas tennis shoes when thousands of fans took off their Adidas and raised them in the air at a Run-D.M.C. concert. As a result, advertisers of the conservative athletic shoe brand Adidas signed Run-D.M.C., who appealed to fans of the hip-hop culture. Their $1,000,000 endorsement deal became the first shoe deal ever made with a rap group. Following Run-D.M.C. came a generation of rappers and music artists...
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