Reebok Has the Perfect Shoes for the Man With the World’s Fastest Feet

Luis Badillo Jr. tries out the Fast Flexweave

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys jogging through dizzy dystopian structures amid explosions and cascading Ping-Pong balls, while some random dude keeps the beat on his drum kit, Reebok’s got the sneaker technology for you.

Called Flexweave, it’s designed for comfort, durability and speed, and it’s on surreal, quick-cut display in the minute-long spot below from Venables Bell & Partners.

The ad features training specialist Luis Badillo Jr., who claims to possess “the fastest feet in the world” (hey, someone must), wearing Reebok’s Fast Flexweave as he sprints through dreary, disorienting, dreamlike locations including an abandoned subway station, a dilapidated bank and a disused post office:


“The consumer we are hoping to inspire is the athlete who is training to develop speed and quickness and needs a shoe that enables that ambition,” Reebok senior director of brand management James Woolard tells Adweek. “So we want the consumer to see a modern, innovative and compelling demonstration of speed and fast feet.”

With a peppy percussionist, no less!

“The drummer allowed us to further illustrate the speed and syncopation of Luis’ feet, and also added a textual element that brought in some dynamism to the flow of the spot,” says Venables associate creative director Byron Del Rosario.

That’s jazzman Eric Vaughn wailing on the skins, as Badillo kicks up water, multi-hued powder and red paint during his run. (Baddy’s put his heart and soles into painting before, by the way.)

“Part of the allure of this spot was that all the stunts were shot practically, so there were real steps and then steps that were in-set with paint containers” that burst beneath Badillo’s footfalls, Del Rosario says.

Sure, we’ve seen the pulse-pounding, packed-with-images, music-video approach before. The new Originals film from Reebok parent Adidas springs to mind as a prime example. Here, the style seems like an especially good fit, given Reebok’s penchant for performance-driven messages and high intensity.

Director Henry Hobson creates a compelling contrast between the bleak interiors and bright bursts of action, tossing in a madcap mix of elements to punctuate Badillo’s fleet, fancy footwork.

CREDITS
Fastest Flexweaves:
Brand: Reebok
Spot Name: Fastest Flexweaves
Air Date: 2/5/18
Agency: Venables Bell + Partners
Chairman: Paul Venables
Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
Creative Director: Tyler Hampton
Associate Creative Director: Byron del Rosario
Senior Art Director: Tim Green
Copywriters: Ryan Hoercher and Jake Reilly
Head of Strategy: Michael Davidson
Group Strategy Director: Jodi Shelley
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Agency Producer: Julia Oetker-Kast
Production Company: Furlined
Director: Henry Hobson
Director of Photography: Kasper Tuxen
Executive Producer: Ben Davies
Line Producer: Bill James
Editorial Company: Work Editorial
Editor: Stewart Reeves
Assistant Editor: Paul Jarolimekproner
Post Producer: Marlo Baird
Sound Design: Therapy Studios
Sound Designers: Eddie Kim
Music: SOUTH Music and Sound
Mix: One Union Recording
Sound Engineer: Joaby Deal
VFX: Blacksmith
VFX Producer: Charlotte Arnold and Alexa Mauro
VFX Supervisor: Iwan Zwarts
Color: Co3
Colorist: Tom Poole
Group Brand Director: Michael Chase
Brand Director: Nicole Spinelli
Brand Manager: Lindsie Levinson
Business Affairs Manager: Susan Conklin
Creative Resource Manager: Katrina Strich
Duality Metaphors:
Brand: Reebok
Spot Name: Duality Metaphors
Air Date: 2/5/18
Agency: Venables Bell + Partners
Chairmain: Paul Venables
Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
Creative Director: Tyler Hampton
Associate Creative Director: Byron del Rosario
Senior Art Director: Tim Green
Copywriter: Ryan Hoercher & Jake Riley
Head of Strategy: Michael Davidson
Group Strategy Director: Jodi Shelley
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Agency Producer: Julia Oetker-Kast
Production Company: GLP Creative
Director & DP: Gary Land
Executive Producer: Greg Smith, Abe Sands & Ed Varites
Editorial Company: Lumberyard
Editor: Danny Figuera
Post Producer: Liz Carlton
Sound Design: Therapy Studios
Sound Designers: Eddie Kim, Dillon Cahill & Brandon Kim
Music: Cityscape Sound
Composer: Nick Andre
Mix: One Union Recording
Sound Engineer: Joaby Deal
VFX: Lumberyard
VFX Supervisor: Dani Sanchez & Zac Wollens
Color: Co3
Colorist: Tom Poole
Group Brand Director: Michael Chase
Brand Director: Nicole Spinelli
Brand Manager: Lindsie Levinson
Business Affairs Manager: Susan Conklin
Creative Resource Manager: Katrina Strich
Material Animations:
Brand: Reebok
Spot Name: Material Animations
Air Date: 2/5/18
Agency: Venables Bell + Partners
Chairmain: Paul Venables
Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
Creative Director: Tyler Hampton
Associate Creative Director: Byron del Rosario
Senior Art Director: Tim Green
Copywriter: Ryan Hoercher & Jake Riley
Head of Strategy: Michael Davidson
Group Strategy Director: Jodi Shelley
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Agency Producer: Julia Oetker-Kast
VFX Company: Haymaker
Executive Producer: Fredrik Swerin
Producer: Henrik Friberg
VFX Creative Director: Jeff Boyd
Sound Design & Mix: Therapy Studios
Sound Designers: Eddie Kim, Dillon Cahill & Brandon Kim
Group Brand Director: Michael Chase
Brand Director: Nicole Spinelli
Brand Manager: Lindsie Levinson
Business Affairs Manager: Susan Conklin
Creative Resource Manager: Katrina Strich
Static/Retail Executions:
Brand: Reebok
Campaign: Fast Flexweave/Fusion Flexweave
Chairman: Paul Venables
Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
Creative Director: Tyler Hampton
Design Director: Cris Logan
Associate Creative Director: Byron Del Rosario
Designer: Andre Cabral
Copywriter: Ryan Hoercher & Jake Riley
Production House: GLP
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Director of Art Production: Jacqueline Fodor
Agency Art Producer: Marissa Serritella
Photographer: Gary Land
Retouching: Pacific Digital Image
Head of Strategy: Michael Davidson
Group Strategy Director: Jodi Shelley
Group Brand Director: Michael Chase
Brand Direction: Nicole Spinelli
Brand Manager: Lindsie Levinson
Director of Retail: Brian Diecks
Director of Retail Design: Peter Antonelli
Director of Strategy: Harlan Kennedy
Retail Producer: Tess Rockers
Creative Resource Manager: Katrina Strich


@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.