New Campaigns

Orwell That Ends Well
Client: Reebok International, Stoughton, Mass.
Agency: Berlin Cameron & Partners, New York
Creative Directors: Ewen Cameron, Andrew Christou
Art Director: Andrew Christou
Copywriter: Simeon Roane
Agency Producer: Dane Johnson
Director: Sam Bayer, Mars Productions
Acrowd of cloned runners surround a glassed-in laboratory. Inside, scientists draped in protective body gear gingerly analyze a Reebok DMX running shoe as though it were radioactive. Suddenly, the lab’s monitors and computers go haywire and the scientists quickly hustle the shoe away, presumably to the quarantine ward. White letters against a black screen introduce the spot’s theme: “They fear it.”
Berlin Cameron & Partners’ latest work for the Reebok DMX builds on the Orwellian picture painted in the campaign’s initial effort, which touted the DMX as “The best running shoe in the history of the world.” Featuring images of a sea of runners all bearing the same likeness, the original ad climaxes with one runner breaking out of the mold, his Reeboks crushing his cracked face mask. (It also makes a sly reference to Nike: The 97005 plastered on the city’s walls and on the running jerseys of the cloned athletes is the ZIP code of Nike’s Beaverton, Ore., headquarters.)
The campaign’s focus on individualism echoes the new technology of the sneaker, said creative director Ewen Cameron. The shoe has an air cushion that shifts to different areas of the foot to provide support where needed, allowing the shoe to adapt to the varying requirements of runners. “Our campaign grew out of the product. It’s a simple idea,” he said.
The new 30-second spot has been paired with a re-edited version of the initial 60-second ad, which now includes an ominous voiceover quoting the late Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas: “As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. It is in such twilight that will must be aware of change in the air, however slight. Lest we become victims of the darkness.” Both spots will air in 11,000 movie theaters across the country to capture wayward television viewers: “TV is pretty dead during the summer,” said Cameron. “Movies are where your audience is. By running [the ads] together, it enables us to tell a story.”
The campaign is “a cross between sci-fi and reality,” said Andrew Christou, creative director. “The first ad established this totalitarianism in the marketplace. With the new ad, we’ve gotten more tongue-in-cheek. These guys discover this shoe and they freak out.”
Targeting late teens and 20-somethings, the campaign will continue into the fall with at least two more TV spots, Cameron said. The newest ads are in production now, and Christou is excited: “It is so cool to work on something that is so out there.” –Justin Dini