Reebok: Caught with its pants down
In "Reebok's Hot Streak" [Feb. 10], Barbara Lippert asserts that by parodying Nike's work, "Reebok is making a clever cultural reference and showing that its new character can literally level the playing field." But while both ads are cultural references, they are referencing two completely distinct cultures.
Nike's spot is informed by sports culture in general and British football culture specifically. The Reebok parody is informed by advertising culture in general and Nike advertising culture specifically.
Consequently, Nike succeeds in once again conveying its status as the de facto arbiter and curator of what is interesting and wonderful about sports, while Reebok merely confirms that it, like most consumers, can't resist being influenced by brilliant Nike advertising.
And while it could be argued that both ads are destined to score beaucoup points at Cannes (clever advertising-culture reference), in terms of their merit as examples of brand communication, Nike, as always, claims Best in Show (clever sports-culture reference).
Freelance creative director
Shhh! Don't mention sales or effectiveness
None of the creative directors you polled in your Super Bowl wrap-up [Feb. 3] mentioned effectiveness or salesmanship as a criterion for evaluation. Considering the business environment, ignoring advertising's raison d'être is less than reassuring. I just wish it wasn't so uncool to even mutter the word sales. Oh no, I've said the "s" word. I'm cooked.
Svp, creative director