In the case of the original 12 Days of Christmas, “Eight Maids a-Milking” would be next on the list…
“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me,
Twelve Drummers Drumming,
Eleven Pipers Piping,
Ten Lords a-Leaping,
Nine Ladies Dancing,
Eight Maids a-Milking,
Seven Swans a-Swimming,
Six Geese a-Laying,
Five Gold Rings,
Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves,
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!”
Lace up and get ready, however, because MediaRadar is bringing you this year’s best in sneaker and sneaker-brand ads!
Instead of “Maids a-Milking,” we are sending you Eight Shoes a-Sneaking.
The holidays are a great time for brands selling sneakers. Everyone wants to kick off the new year looking fresh, and what better way than with a new pair of sneaks.
The advertising year is a marathon, but many of the brands below are sprinting to finish 2017 off strong. Let’s take a look at their highlight-reel worthy ads from this year.
And with that, we’re off and running…
Nike – “Want it All”
Every basketball-loving child dreams of playing in the NBA – let alone on the same team as LeBron James.
This Nike ad starts with a young boy staring into the distance, when a woman’s voice, presumably his mother, asks, “Dante, what are looking at?”
The answer to that question unravels in a chronological series of sporting events.
It starts with Dante dazzling defenders on the outdoor courts as a teen.
Then, we see him at a basketball skills camp, run by none other than LeBron James. At practice, Dante and LeBron toss around-the-back passes to one another, LeBron as the teacher and Dante the student.
From there, we see Dante’s trek through college, where he runs into some adversity due to his play. He only continues to work harder, eventually leading to him getting drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Once again, he rejoins LeBron on the basketball court. This time, in the professional spotlight. Once reunited, Dante uses the around-the-back pass that LeBron taught him so many years prior.
So, what was Dante looking at in the beginning of the ad? His immensely bright future.
Under Armour – “We Will”
This Under Armour ad starts with the phrase “sports will…” before showing different athletes from a wide variety of sports. The athletes range from the highest level of professional to the purely amateur.
There are some massive stars included, from Jordan Spieth, to Cam Newton, to Muhammed Ali, and Steph Curry.
The ad is a mix of highlights from pros and amateurs alike. The narration features inspirational talks from Cam Newton, Ali, and Ray Lewis.
The ad closes by saying “sports will inspire, sports will unite, sports will change the world.”
According to Under Armour, sports are a catalyst for unification and change. It’s powerful sentiment to carry into the holiday season.
Adidas – “Futurecraft 4D: Rise”
In an ad that feels like it could be a promo for Westworld, Adidas displays the unique tone that they’ve recently harnessed in many of their ads.
They seem to be looking to the future, and what shoe-making could look like going forward. This, and many of their ads, have a very futuristic tone that can simultaneously make any viewer feel a bit uneasy and optimistic all at once.
“So complex, it feels like it should be impossible in the moment.”
The future is now, and according to the ad, Adidas is “limitless.”
This ad puts Adidas’ innovation on display. They’re in their labs, creating Westworld-like shoe body frames, testing the limits of shoe evolution.
If Santa Claus were a man of the future, he’d gift himself a pair of fresh Adidas this holiday, and toss aside those age old boots.
Reebok – “Hold Court”
Kendrick Lamar has always put the pressure on himself to “be a champion.”
His Reebok Club C’s were where the pressure met the ground.
To Kendrick, his Reebok’s represent the pressure he always put on himself to be endlessly successful. They represent his journey to the ultimate trophy.
This is Part 1 of Reebok’s 4 part series of ads with Kendrick Lamar.
The overall message is that shoes hold much more value than simply looking nice on someone’s feet. “People should feel a certain way when they put certain shoes on.”
Shoes carry much more than the weight of our physical bodies. They hold the memories within us, as well.
New Balance – “This is Boston”
In this New Balance ad, we see runners, professional athletes, skateboarders, beer-brewers, chefs, and mascots all sporting their New Balance sneakers.
Aside from their varying lifestyles, however, they all represent the same brand, and the same city – Boston.
This ad is as much about the city as it is about shoes.
Despite bagpipe undertones and a black and white picture, this ad gets to the heart of Boston pride.
Since tragedy struck the Boston Marathon in 2013, the event has carried a new meaning. Boston, an already very prideful city, has since found a new level of pride in remaining strong and together.
This advertisement goes well beyond brand loyalty.
Converse – “Chucks in Film with Millie Bobby Brown”
Stranger Things captured America’s attention the last two years, thanks to a talented, relatable cast, a great plot, and magnetic 80’s nostalgia.
Converse attempts to use the same strategy in their “Chucks in Film” commercial starring Millie Bobby Brown, famously known in Stranger Things, as Eleven.
Millie is the narrator in this ad. She discusses what it means when characters in movies wear Chucks: “They are doing their own thing.” “They’re the ones you’re rooting for.” “They’re the underdog.”
These descriptions come to fruition when the ad shows cut-scenes from different 80s classics, like The Breakfast Club and Back to the Future.
Needless to say, Marty McFly was surely “doing his own thing.”
Jordan – “Welcome to the Spotlight”
As we’ve previously stated, the holidays are all about family.
This ad for the Jordan brand depicts a different kind of family – one of diversity, success, and competition.
The Jordan brand has an all-star roster of NBA athletes already sporting their shoes on a nightly basis.
Earlier this year, however, Jordan added a Chinese basketball star to their roster for the first time ever.
That man, Guo Ailun, received quite the introduction in this ad.
In the ad, a maintenance man enters a locker room of all the current Jordan brand sponsored players.
The genius of the ad lies in the epic build up to one moment – the moment where the maintenance man hangs Ailun’s jersey in the locker room alongside the others.
Throughout the build up, we see just how incredible Jordan’s roster of NBA stars has gotten, while Michael Jordan narrates an introductory monologue to Ailun, concluding with, “Welcome to the family.”
The Jordan brand has made it a regular occurence to create inspiring, goosebump-producing advertisements. This ad is no exception.
Puma – “PUMA Introduces the Breaker”
In this ad, shoes are your means of finding inspiration and creativity.
In a city like New York, according to street artist DAIN, “inspiration is everywhere.”
There’s so much going on – all you have to do is walk the sidewalks.
To create inspiration in others, DAIN works on a mural where he can showcase his unique creativity – something that breaks the norm.
His piece turns out to be Puma’s Breakers mixed into a mural. He expresses his feelings about how Puma is very “street” and unique. He felt that mixing the brand with street art was a perfect combination.
Regardless, in a lot of cases, family, friends, and great gifts are the perfect combination. The most important thing you can do this holiday is create amazing memories with family and friends.
In our next post, we’ll be leaving the swans to their swimming and shaping up a clean list of smooth ads and fresh insights. Stay tuned!