The AntiBrand: blackSpot sneakers, a project by Adbusters attacks Nike directly. In doing so they take on what has become one of the great icons of the branding age.
This looks and sounds really exciting, because as I’ve said for a long time, it’s about time some of these corporates received a good kicking from some competition. I don’t feel that strongly against Nike, but I like the principle, and possibility
… of course, this “antibrand” is itself a brand, albeit one created in a different way. Their website is full of vigour and attitude, but is (as yet) a bit short on details of how exactly this brand will live up to higher values than they see in Nike. For instance, investor information is an email link rather than a page of open information. My feeling is that adbusters (who are behind this) will build this in an interesting and transparent fashion.
One good thing about the Giant Brands is that – these days – by making themselves obvious, they increase the pressure to get their act together. Precisely because criticism like this can catch fire so easily in a networked world. I’m not sure I would want to kill Nike, but I hope this encourages it to keep moving towards the light.
(Thanks also to Gary Lawrence Murphy for his part in the chain leading me to this story)