The Finest Sweatshirt in the World?

I bought me one of these Nike x Loopwheeler AW77 sweatshirts:

From the Nike 1948 store in Shoreditch.

I’ve been wearing it for 3 days straight. And I can’t take it off. It truly is the finest sweatshirt I’ve ever owned. I don’t normally get like that about clothes. And I loved it without hesitation before seeing the video (in case you were wondering).

Another bonus point for YouTube! It’s completely bonkers that I can find a video of my new favourite item of clothing on the web.

Nike 1948 Popup Store in London

Edit: Popup store has popped-down.This store now appears to be closed. So don’t make a special trip to see it.

If you’re in the Shoreditch area there’s a nice temporary pop-up Nike store just opposite Market Sports on Bateman’s Row.

It’s open:

Nike 1948 Popup Store in London

There’s a big concrete AirMax shoe outside:

Nike 1948 Popup Store in London

And inside there’s limited edition shoes and clothes made by Nike all in a swanky sport-themed interior. It’s a pretty nice thing.

Nike 1948 Popup Store in London

It’s here, in case you want directions…

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Morris Dancing – Just Do It?


Yesterday my life was changed. I saw street Morris Dancing. Well it was just ordinary Morris Dancing. But in the street. I’m sure there’s room for updating this old fashioned art – perhaps mashing it up with some rude drum and bass styles. Or something like that.

Actually it was just really good fun as it was. For about half an hour a small pocket of our local community had a bit of a laugh together with no pretensions of cool or age or anything. People just laughed and jumped around a bit.

Because of the role of Morris Dancing as a really important social glue. I think there’s a huge opportunity for the big global sportswear brands to get in on the act. I noticed that the Black Reebok Classic (or variants thereof) appears to be the shoe of choice of today’s Morris Man:


However there was a clear competitive advantage shown by the guy wearing Nikes:


That guy could be the Jordan of Morris Dancing – I kid you not!

If you want to see more pictures of men and sticks and small St George flags I’ve got a Flickr set here:

Sophie and I even had a go. But thankfully there are no pictures. I hope.

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 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.

Cryptic Icons

Icons are cool. They let you get across the message quickly and easily. Unless of course they’re bad icons that just leave you puzzled and wondering what on earth is going on…

No socks? No messy ticks? No poor counterfeit Nike sportswear? No idea…

Warning, huge eyeballs? Don’t bury your CDs under the shed? It was on a sports centre so I should have been able to figure it out…

It was Indoor Bowling! Admittedly quite a tricky thing to turn into an icon I guess…

Digital Lepers

Clio Awards 2007

If you read my rubbish regularly you know that I have a funny relationship with advertising. But as I’ve tried to stress before I don’t have anything against the advertising industry.

I just think that the digital world has perhaps an uneasy relationship with the advertising establishment. I’ve tried not to get emotional about this or read too much into any of it, but here’s a few things I witnessed at the 2007 Clio Awards in Miami.

  1. The interactive category got less time in the awards than the student category (it did get more time than radio but only just – and radio only had 2 winners)
  2. RGA won a grand Clio and two gold awards for Nike+, I was sitting next to a nice man called Chapin from RGA. He didn’t get asked to go up and pick up the awards. Every other agency that won a grand Clio had the whole team go up and get recognised
  3. The interactive jury didn’t get to meet up to discuss the winners, we did the whole thing online. (In my humble opinion this meant that lots of great work got missed out). Every other jury seemed to have had physical meetings to go through the work – except for perhaps Radio which also seemed to get a bit of a raw deal
  4. The TV/Radio night was definitely the ‘big night’. The auditorium was full as opposed to 1/2 empty. Even the music changed, a subtle difference, but one that was noticed
  5. In the ‘gallery’ you could view winning work from print, tv and radio (through a bunch of iPods). But you couldn’t see or experience the digital work anywhere.

I’m not particularly annoyed about it. And it’s probably right that I’m not. Perhaps I should shut up and actually enjoy the fact that digital it still little bit underground and grubby. In fact that’s exactly what I’m going to do :-)

Semacode Update

Blogs are great. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I asked a question about semacodes on websites. Went to bed. Then I woke up and someone’s left me a great answer. It’s like a big huge collective brain that goes on thinking throughout the night ;-)

Anyway, thanks Roger for some great thoughts. In fact if this is a topic that interests you, you should head over to his blog ‘All About Mobile Life‘ – which incidentally is QR code enabled ;-)

He makes a great point about QR Codes being used like RSS feeds. You can just snap a picture of the code on a site and boom, you’ve got a subscription to the site on your phone. Or a ‘takaway’ version of the site. Or simply a bookmark. So yes, I can see the point of codes on websites now.

I guess I’m just a bit behind in my cross-device behaviour at the moment.

And James from Collaborate Marketing has chimed in with:

The codes are also used for promotional offers – like coupons. So maybe Nike are saying – take this along to a store or some other Nike event. Also, in Japan the phones have special readers to take the information from screens, posters or instore, which we don’t have yet. I understand Nokia are testing them on the N-series.

Also a very valid use for these codes.

I guess in both examples it’s about transportability. In the ‘olden days’ people would have printed stuff out, now your mobile is easier to carry about than piles of paper (for some of us).

Website with Semacode, Why?

Semacodes are pretty cool.

The all knowing Wikipedia with it’s dazzling array of cross-links describes a semacode thusly:

a URL can be converted into a type of barcode resembling a crossword puzzle, which is called a “tag”. Tags can be quickly captured with a mobile phone‘s camera and decoded to obtain a Web site address. This address can then be accessed via the phone’s web browser

In essence you take a photo of a thing (see top right) and your phone does something interesting.

In Japan (rumour has it) they’re very common. But they call them QR Codes. And they’ve started doing things like putting them on their business cards so that you can just photograph it and then get the contact information into your address book. Kinda Cool.


Where all of these sorts of innovation fall down is using them just for the sake of it. You’ve got to ask yourself that question, “wouldn’t it just be simpler to…?”. For example just taking a disposable photo of an address instead of bluetoothing it to my phone – see my previous post on Photonotes.

So I was puzzled to see this Nike site with a QR code on it:

I’ve sat and thought about it. In fact I’m still thinking about it….I’m sure I’m missing out on something because I don’t read Japanese. But in the best case it’s going to add something to my phone (a graphic, an application, a screensaver, a bit of video?) or, and I really hope this isn’t the case, it takes my phone to a web page. But either way surely getting someone to use their phone to do something when they’re already engaged on a website seems a bit odd.
Or even more bizarrely… If someone was accessing this website on their phone (as many people in Japan do). How are they supposed to take a photo of this QR code?!?!

Please can someone Japanese put me out of my ignorant misery, please. I’d love to know why this is there.

My Top Stuff of 2006

I’ve been thinking about doing a post on stuff I’ve liked in 2006, if you’ve got a blog it seems like you have to. But I didn’t know what to put in it or how to organise it. But I got re-inspired by The Design Conspiracy annual (a thing of much loveliness which you can download here). I liked their top 10s so I decided to use their format as a kind of template, but I’ve altered it a wee bit…

  1. Favourite Top 10 list of 2006 – The ones in The Design Conspiracy Annual – as you might guess I feel a little guilty in taking my inspiration from their hard work so I’m making sure I give them healthy credit ;-)
  2. Music: So This is Goodbye – Junior Boys. Emotional electronic music of the highest quality.
  3. Music Video: Gnarls Barkley – Crazy. It might actually be that it’s the song that makes it. But I reckon that the song and the vid just work really well together. Subtle and simple, I like.
  4. TV ad: Maybe it’s a sign of the times. Or maybe it’s just that my head is a bit fuzzy today. But I really struggled to remember an ad that I really loved in 2006. I’m really struggling. Hmmmm… I like the 3 ad for free messenger I don’t think that the insight is particularly amazing or anything. I just really like it as a little film (and I think it does a nice job of making something intangible feel tangible.
  5. Film: Little Miss Sunshine. If you haven’t seen it. See it. By the end I couldn’t work out if I was crying with laughter, or just crying and laughing at the same time. The whole cinema was properly laughing out loud. Genuinely funny and moving. Manages to navigate between sentimental and mental really well.
  6. Website: YouTube. Perhaps an ‘obvious’ choice. But think back to an time ‘BYT’. Can you remember it? It’s tough. How many links have you been sent to things on YouTube this year? I’d wager that it’s likely to be a similar number to the total number of links you’ve been sent to all other sites combined. Of course it’s not YouTube’s content. But without a doubt YouTube has changed the shape of the web immeasurably.
  7. Design Thing: Nintendo Wii. I got mine last week. My body hurts from playing it too hard. It’s a magical thing. It’s completely redefined the gaming agenda. Fuck polygon counts and blu-ray. Wii is all about fun. And it’s got shedloads of it.
  8. Person: Sophie.
  9. Item of clothing: Nike Air Force One Nordic Edition they look a bit nasty in these photos, but they’re lovely and comfy and warm, and they don’t look too shabby either. IMHO.
  10. Place: Brighton ;-)

I might also do a list of the blogs I’ve enjoyed over 2006. But it’ll take me a long time to pull it together. Perhaps until 2008…