OK, stop everything and watch this motherf**king video right now!!!

Kenny Powers. CEO and winner of the 2012 Cannes Grand Prix for sheer awesomeness. This is how it’s done. Via 72andsunny, America’s current advertising champions. My hat is off guys!


UPDATE: when this video is as insanely popular as it surely will become, I predict two things will happen.

One, the ad community will bitch that 72andsunny just rode Kenny’s wave and ANYBODY could have done that.

Two, they will draw comparisons between it and and Reebok’s Terry Tate, office linebacker.

The short answer to both these questions is “Yeah! What you gonna do about it?”

30 responses to “OK, stop everything and watch this motherf**king video right now!!!

  1. Pingback: Konnichiwa Bitches | kamori

  2. Loved this! Is this K-Swiss sponsored? Curious considering the language element mutha f-er!

  3. funny stuff but nobody outside the USA knows who Kenny Powers is..

    no Cannes GP 2012

    The USA is not the whole world Vinny, you should know this :)

    • you know, i had only seen a couple of episodes of the show nico. but KP is more of an archetype. and the sheer scale and energy of the ad would win over even Felix Glauner ;-) OK, maybe not…

  4. Seems quite a loooong stretch to call this an ad. Where will it run? And frankly, it ain’t that damn funny. It’s like calling the hanging of Saddam Hussein an ad for the rope.

    • i would disagree Rob. i think it’s hilarious. It ran online. let’s face it K Swiss has fuck all to lose. in poker terms this is going all in. and i’d say it was worth it. does anyone in the USA in 2011 really need to see another sweaty athlete taking it to the hole/putting it in the back of the net etc? I am talking about K Swiss. I know i’m in advertising but i bet this impacts the greater culture too.

  5. Saw this on Ben Kay’s site. My points there apply here, but maybe with a bit of a twist.

    Maybe this isn’t an ad at all. Maybe it’s content. I hate jargon words and “content” is well on its way to being one, but I think this is proper use of it.

    I do agree with Rob’s argument, semantics and subjective LOL-factor aside.

    • i thiink it’s very obviously an ad Chris. a modern ad intended to live online and earn its own audience. a very different proposition from the usual ad contruct. and as someone who had done this sort of thing over the years i have to applaud this execution. it takes courage and skill to do what they’re doing here. and they pulled it off. and humor is only subjective to a degree. It’s not nearly as subjective as some people think.

      put this on a big screen in front of a crowd and i guarantee you get huge laughs. I am very jealous of this. Fuuuuck!!!

      • Chris Seiger

        I dunno, man. Time will tell as far as its real product-moving impact is concerned. I understand they’re trying to create/ignite/restore a vibe that is the K-Swiss brand. I get it.

        I really do.

        However. My faith that people will share this and it will become some phenomenon and end up selling shoes is quite low. Putting it on a big screen in front of a crowd? Where? That’s the issue Rob was raising.

        The difference between YouTube and TV is that with TV, you get millions of eyeballs at one time. One YouTube, you a speculative number of eyeballs two at a time.

        Maybe you get 5,000,000 hits, and that’s great. As long as they buy shoes.

        Brilliant work? I’ll give you that. But it’d be more so if it were thirty seconds long and on TV. Aw, fuck. Maybe I’m just being too cynical.

  6. Vinny, I will grant you that it is irreverent and busts up all the tired cliches. And if it is intended to only live online, it’s a gutsy approach. Don’t get me wrong, I gave it a few chuckles, more from shock than humor. I give them high marks for selling it to the client. That said, I doubt it will turn K-Swiss into a power brand. I don’t think Nike is worried, and I’d be surprised if it sells many shoes.

  7. rob, if i was Nike i’d be slightly more worried about K Swiss than i was two days ago. and that’s accomplishing a lot IMHO.

  8. i may have been wrong Vinny. Even tough almost nobody in Holland knows who Kenny Powers is, i see it popping up on my Dutch friends’ twitter and facebook everywhere.

    someone even sent me an email with a link (how 2008 btw)

  9. Nike owns K Swiss by the way… the bought it a years ago

  10. i loathe the “will it sell shoes” response. if it’s a product that needs to be demo’d or explained (ipad and cars vs. chewing gum and shoes), then fine. but if it’s not, then what can you possibly do in an ad to sell shoes? that challenge should’ve been addressed in design, r&d and other marketing channels.

    who cares where it’s going to air! that’s the biggest bs i’ve ever heard. media is free now and if a story is compelling enough to share, everyone will see it. it’s about the message, not the medium.

    i think the most we can ask for of an ad is to get people interested/talking about it and attributing the entertainment value to the brand. i see this ad, i laugh, i see tubes, i see that it’s from k-swiss, thank you k-swiss, you’re not that bad, hey guys have you seen the k-swiss ad?

  11. i completely agree with me! Is that you Chris? You really had me going there. fuck yeah!

  12. I am now about to copy and paste me!’s comment and use it as my own to battle bull shit opinions in the future. Thanks me! Spot on.

  13. No, it’s not me. The exact opposite. That kind of attitude is what got us into the brand existentialist bullshit storm we’ve crashed into. With brands “engaging” people in a “dialogue.” Just sell me some fucking shoes already. Was it not you, Vinnie, who recently said something to the tune of: all great advertising is a product demonstration?

    I’m paraphrasing – perhaps poorly – but you get the idea. Terry Tate didn’t sell me Reeboks. He was hilarious, too. I hope I’m wrong. I really do.

    And Vinnie: keep up the good work. I do enjoy the blog (and I loved the Herculiner stuff), but I won’t do you the injustice of agreeing with every point of view. Even if I’m an advertising nobody. ;)

  14. No Chris, I was referring to a different Chris. Too many Chriseses!

    And no worries. I hate it when people agree with me too much. makes me suspicious that they’ve turned off their brains.

    Anyway. I think it’s important to step back and consider the situation. Last week, K Swiss = yawn. Bowling balls had more edge than K Swiss.

    This week we’re talking about it. So that right there is something.

    I stand by my assertion that the best ads are (almost invariably) demonstration ads.

    But the other Chris pointed out, sometimes there is just fucking NOTHING to say. The beer is just meh, the shoes are hideous etc.

    Additonally, remember the category K Swiss find themselves in. It’s Nike land. One of the most competitive categories in marketing.

    I toiled briefly in the category (Reebok) and let me tell you that is one is a bitch to work in. And i agree that Terry Tate was not a good ad. It was a good use of the Superbowl though.

    If you have a kickass shoe to sell, obviously life is easier. But that is rare.

    So you’re left with entertainment. Which is what 72andsunny did.

    And they chose a polarizing approach. Which i think was smart. That’s how you get your brand talked about. by doing something that is worth talking about, ie something new and a bit different.

    The 72andsunny guys used to work on Nike at Wieden for years. They know the category well. And there is an undoubted element of fashion to this category too. Most people who wear Nike Air never run for anything more than the bus.

    • I get what you’re saying. If you’re right, this is just the beginning of something. Too many times, this kind of thing is a one-off. If they keep this moving, it could go where I seem to want it to go (result-wise, not creatively, as I think the creative is fine). I wanted it to sell product now. What you’re saying is that it has to make me aware of the product, THEN sell it.

      I get it. Feasible argument for sure. K-Swiss is about as exciting as watching grass sleep.

      But they have to follow this up with something that tells you to buy shoes.

      Anything less puts it into the zone where that super bowl cat-herding ad and the Pepsi Refresh project live on in shame.

  15. well, with the whole brand existentialist bs we’ve gotten ourselves into, i sometimes think it’s necessary. personally, i don’t think people hate companies as much as we think they do. look at nike for example — people get swoosh tattoos and wear logo tees. and if you ask them why they love nike so much, i doubt many of them would attribute it to their actual product.

    and to take it further the conventional thought that this specific product should be demo’d, let’s look at the ipod. tell me about the storage space, show me the beautiful design and revolutionary scroll wheel. show me how awesome the itunes store it.

    rather, they went with the silhouettes campaign with people dancing to fun music. no mention of storage space and not even a product shot of it. and this thing was beautiful. what they did instead was find that human truth (of people being rocking out) and boiled it down to its essential element and made it fun >> attached apple logo >> “oh man that’s cool” >> awareness increases >> product sells itself.

    no need to talk about how it would’ve done well, regardless. overall, the product is either going to sell or it’s not. as different as the ipod was than its competitors, the true differentiator was the advertising campaign.

    and so back to kswiss, what people think of them now will be much different from what they thought then. it’s new, bold; and with over 372,000 hits as now (on a must-have-link-to-share video), it’s definitely being talked about.

  16. sorry for typos, guys. smoked a lot of weed last night and woke up with a dumbover. also, not chris, just a fan of the blog.

  17. so you’re name isn’t Chris at all then? great stuff man. you want a job not-Chris? CMO of K fucking Swiss! thanks.

  18. I still say it’s not an ad.

    • rob, i think that’s what makes it great. it’s truly exceptional in the literal sense. people said the same thing about my Wassup! campaign. they were angry at me for “cheating”. whaaaaat???

  19. Wassup was brilliant and actually fit into a :30 TV format. Kudos. Do you think you could cut this to a :30 and broadcast it? I’d like to see the heavily bleeped result. And I also have to wonder: Wassup had everybody talking and laughing for a long time. But did it move product? Only you know that.

    • wassup did move product. any time you affect the culture you move product. simply by pushing the brand to the front of the consumer’s mind. you shake things up. i currently own two sticks of Old Spice deodorant. turns out i didn’t really give a shit about Mitchum.

  20. Me:
    There’s a bit of difference K-Swiss shoes and iPods.

    1) iPods revolutionized the way people interact with and consume music. K-Swiss has done fuck-all for shoes.
    2) iPod commercials were :30s and :15s, not 5:20s.
    3) iPod commercials – however stylized – were PRODUCT DEMONSTRATIONS. All your music goes with you, wherever you are, so you can rock the fuck out. Product was front and center. Main attraction. Star. K-Swiss…meh.
    4) Apple was already a well-established brand with a sense of style. K-Swiss is a poorly established brand that is the antithesis of style.
    5) Eat a bagel or something. It’ll help your system process the rest of the dumb over quicker. And I’m not a grammar or spelling nazi. God knows I’ve fucked up my share of words with no excuse at all.

    Anyway, apples to oranges in my opinion, no pun intended. Apple also spent a ton more, which allowed them to get exposure more widely than K-Swiss’ likely limited budget (hence this choice of direction).

    Also, someone’s posted that there is, in fact, a :30 commercial cut from this vid that’s pretty good. That makes me happier. Let’s hope it sells shoes. I’m a Puma whore, so I won’t be buying, but someone else can feel free. :D

  21. This whole thing is unreal. I guess some folks won’t find it amusing, but that’s really not the point. The point is, you have a client that’s gutsy enough to consider doing something like this, and an agency skilled enough to pull it off. There’s no “riding” of anyone’s “wave” as much as there’s just a lot of good work being done. Bravo to all involved–it’s completely badass.

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