Diesel Relaunches 1993 Shoe With ‘Pre-Internet’ Campaign

A return to the good old days

The pre-Internet world—just before the boom, circa 1993—hella sucked. I am, of course, too young to remember that dark and disturbing era, since I'm only 9 years old. But if I could recall those grim analog times, I'd see a land of screenless phones connected to cords, like babies dangling from umbilicals, voices on the other end screaming in anguish for streams of digital data to set them free. From that overblown metaphor we smoothly segue into a discussion of Diesel's "Pre-Internet Experience" campaign via ad agency SMFB. The work promotes the relaunch of the low-tech YUK shoe, originally introduced in '93 and being brought back "just like they were," by challenging people to give up Facebook for three days or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for two. (The contest ignores Pinterest entirely, like all sane people should.) The brand is using Facebook and a website to drive the contest, an irony that's either delicious or nonexistent, take your pick. (Diesel could hardly count on skywriting and faxes alone.) Twenty winners will receive YUKs. Promo clips offer hotel-room karate and urban parkour scenarios and play up the fact that these backward-ass, bone-age shoes don't support tracking, timing or wall posting. They just protect your feet. Who the hell wants that?

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@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.