Friday, 21 March 2008

The marriage between Converse and Music

Apologies for the lack of posting recently, EJ and myself have been pretty busy but be rest assured after the Easter holidays we will come back with a vengeance (I don't think this is the true message of Easter but that's what I take from it). Before I go back home to see the old folk and eat my body weight in various forms of chocolate and of course hot cross buns I thought I'd share with you an interesting article from the Guardian. Kriss Murison ponders how a sports shoe now owned by Nike came to symbolise good old fashioned Rock & Roll! The article discusses how a number of brands attempt the association with music and in particular trainers and some get it very wrong. This comes in the aftermath of the Dr Martens running an advertising campaign featuring dead rock stars such as Kurt Cobain and Sid Vicious wearing the brand's boots in heaven which caused a great deal of controversy and saw the Ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi sacked.

Edgy or bad taste and offensive?

What ever your feelings about the ad campaign it wasn't successful but Converse are always so good at demonstrating this link between music and their classic shoe. The new Converse ads bring together Sid Vicious and Joy Division's Ian Curtis alongside musical icons still-pumping musical blood, including Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and soundclash experimentalist MIA. Non-musical legends, from Hunter S Thompson to NBA star Dwyane Wade, also appear in the ad, which is intended to drive home the message that Converse has "always been about inspiring originality and the spirit of optimistic rebellion". Karen O from the YYYs confesses her love for them "They have become as much a part of my image as the bright red lips and torn fishnets. I'm happy to endorse a shoe that my feet have known so intimately throughout my rock'n'roll exploits."

We all have at least one pair of Converse...I have four pairs...but are the shoes rock'n'roll? I was leaving the office yesterday for a spot of lunch when I looked down in the lift and noticed that all four guys inside were wearing the same pair of white converse like a uniform. We work in Marketing. I have to add though that while my peers had pristine glowing white ones mine were a little more rock'n'roll as they have become pretty darn battered and are more grey/brown than white. That said if you think of some of the most enduring rock'n'roll images ever captured many will involve Converse, from the Ramones' All-Stars sticking out like canvas clown shoes at the ends of their drainpipe jeans, to the Strokes' NME cover.

Many brands try to profit from the relationship between music and fashion but I don't any will be as successful as Converse who have a strong bond that goes far deeper than clever ad campaigns!


Anonymous said...

I like converse, but I would much rather wear slip on vans or boots.They're all very rock and roll however ,depending on who wears them.

Ian Brown said...

Converse's Chuck Taylor's are timeless.

j said...

Music-shmusic, I don't need to wear an attitude. Pumas are way more stylish.

Style Salvage Steve said...

The New Look - Just like everything it should be the person who wears them and not the other way around.
Ian Brown - I agree, they are so versatile aswell.
J - I'm not too sure about Puma. I think the brand tries too hard, that said I like a few of the McQueen collaborations.

Thomas said...

I don't think this is the true message of Easter...that is brilliant and I'm going to use it all the time now.

"After Easter...I will come back with a vengeance!"

Anonymous said...

Nice blog.! Well I have 3 pairs of Converse All Star shoes. Converse Chuck Taylor shoes are great in design and comfort.

Anonymous said...

Did Ian Curtis ever even wear converse? I can't imagine it...thing the converse ads are almost as bad and tacky as the DMs


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