Nike, is it Supersonic?

Nike Supersonic

Right now you can’t move in London without seeing some kind of ad for Nike Supersonic.

According to the blog spam I got the other day:

“Nike is launching an exclusive invitation only event for 3,000 people in London to push their pace through the sound barrier with Nike+ Supersonic. 1,000 runners and 2,000 of their guests. One night of music fuelled speed.

On the night of 17 November 2007 at a secret London venue, London’s fastest 1,000 will sprint a floodlit 1K course, cheered on by 2,000 of their mates, ending with an invite-only, exclusive gig.

Contenders compete for tickets at four weekly 100m speed trials across London throughout October, starting on the 12th in Finsbury Park. Each trial will feature live DJs, athletes, celebrities and Nike gear. The fastest 1,000 runners from the trials will get the opportunity to compete with two guest passes.

Pre-registration for trials, videos, ring and alert-tones can be downloaded at www.nikesupersonic.com which will continue to be updated with more information for the next couple of months.”

For me, another great example of Digital Agencies sucking at blogger relations. Nothing personal.

I’d had a word with myself about not writing negative things about campaigns and only writing nice things. But being as I got a horrible piece of blogger outreach only a day or two after my post, I feel like I’ve been given permission to comment. And comment I shall. (I’ve tried to be as balanced as I can).

What I like about the campaign is their use of MySpace. Setting the microsite inside MySpace does some good things. It makes it connectible and commentable and sits it inside a ‘relevant’ social network.

Unfortunately the microsite is nothing more than a big flash movie with not much to it. A very nicely produced flash intro. Really very nice. But it does feel a bit, well, shallow. Oh and there’s some downloads.

They’ve also done a great job of getting it ‘out there’ (aside from the impersonal and heavy handed blogger stuff). But even that seems to have worked given the coverage they’ve got. Being a big sexy brand like Nike means you can get away with a lot…

But the online stuff isn’t bad. It’s what’s missing from the campaign that I feel a bit funny about. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a replacement for, or an evolution of, Run London. But to me it feels like neither.

run londonLike many people I’m a big fan of Run London and lots of the stuff that was done around it (especially some of the online and mobile things). But what made Run London brilliant was the sense of empowerment and the fact that it was based around an insight and an event that ALL runners could feel inspired by.

Supersonic feels really ‘elite’. As a rubbish runner it has no relevance to me. I don’t want to go and turn up to an event and fail. Nobody likes to fail, and I’m guessing that only people who think that they’re good enough to run 100m very fast will bother to turn up.

Even the design feels ‘elite’. Using light graffiti and moody effects makes the whole thing feel a bit ‘techno sphincter’ (sorry that’s a phrase one of our clients brilliantly used to describe that macho matrix-esque design aesthetic)

Maybe there’s reasons why mass participation isn’t the objective this time around, but the whole thing leaves me cold. A real shame when the Run London stuff had me all warmed up.

Lots of style. Odd substance if you ask me.

Tea for 2.0

Grazia Teabuddy

Teabuddy.com (our social web app for managing tea-making and preferences) has come to the boil again. It’s one of those odd sleeper projects. We did it ages ago and at first it got picked up by Wired, then a bit later by The Guardian. Now it’s really entered the mainstream with a mention in Grazia magazine (it was the second item in their ‘cool chart’ last week).

That’s one of the things I love about online. Things can just live on forever, getting discovered by new audiences up to years after they originally launched. It’s something that clients are often uncomfortable with, they’re used to campaigns having a launch date and a finite lifespan. Those rules just don’t apply any more. I guess that’s the long tail of advertising.

Our other big sleeper project Globalrichlist.com still has massive peaks and was mentioned in Daily Candy this weekend too.

I don’t know if there’s a sudden upsurge in female publications getting more into online stuff, but its interesting that two of our old projects have been picked up by big Womens’ publications in recent weeks…