Here's a fun fact: 60 percent of all stories on the internet are created in a Hollywood studio by Jimmy Kimmel. Sorry, no, that's a lie—just like the little boy crossing the desert, the the sad Putin hockey photo, and the wolf in the Sochi hotel room. All of these stories took over the internet this week, and all of them were misleading—or outright bullshit.
Last week, 2.3 million people saw Nike's controversial Tiger Woods ad online. But 1.3 million of those views were for parodies. Of the ad's 11.2 million total online views, a full 5.7 million—51%—were for parodies. And Nike is loving it! They told YouTube's Biz Blog: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We love when people engage and participate in the storytelling. Any confident brand should be." [AdAge]
Last night Stephen took a crack at putting different voiceovers on the Tiger's new Nike Ad. Oddly enough, the Leave It To Beaver and Young Frankenstein pep talks are more appropriate than the original.
• The Carolina Herrera dress that Anna Wintour wore on Dave Letterman's show this week? She wore it to the CFDA Awards back in June. Uh oh! [Stylelist]
• Zac Posen is the latest designer to bid goodbye to Bryant Park this Fashion Week. He'll be staging his show at The Altman Building instead. [WWD]
• Another good thing about the recession: There are fewer crappy catalogs getting stuffed in your mailbox. [AP]
• The September Issue doesn't open in theaters until Friday, but it seems some people (above) are already sick of all the publicity. [NYShitty]
The names of Marc Dreier's victims were released by a judge yesterday. Three hedge funds—Elliot Associates, Fortress Investment Group, and Eric Mindich's Eton Park Management—were at the top of the list of investors who were defrauded by the imprisoned lawyer. But a bunch of fashion/retail companies were swindled, too, including Nike, Adidas, Diesel USA, Tommy Hilfiger, and COOGI Partners, the company that controls Fubu and Heatherette. Let it be said, however, that Hilfiger and Heatherette founder Richie Rich almost certainly had nothing to do with the homeless look Dreier was rocking in the days after he was arrested. Men who commit financial crimes just have a tendency to commit fashion ones, too, that's all. [Crain's]
So earlier this summer, Nike upset certain gays and their allies with an ad showing a basketball player dangling his balls in another guy's face, bearing the slogan "That Ain't Right." And everybody got so pissy about it that the company pulled the ad, which even we were surprised by. But that was just one in a series of similar Hyperdunk ads—and what's the point of pulling it when, as Copyranter points out, other ads in the campaign that are still on display might be considered even worse?* EWWW:
Nike is one of those companies that can be irritatingly press shy when you want to write about them but gets antsy if the media ignores it for too long —a case in point being the Olympics — because they have some superstition by which they must spend 11% of their sales on pointless exercises of what it calls "demand creation." (This is like funding one and a half 2008 presidential campaigns every year!) And so because Nike employs a lot of hypercompetitive, marathon-runner-type overachievers all hopped up on Portland caffeine and suffering from a profound lack of purpose*, every few years someone there decides "Just Do It" is not doing it anymore somehow.Maybe the slogan isn't "translating" to an imagined demographic or psychographic of shoe wearers they are trying to target.** Maybe AdBusters made fun of it and they are hurt. Whatever. So they "soft"-launch a new slogan that is invariably totally lame. Last time it was the Special Olympics-y "I Can" and aside from that being totally lame they got sued because someone else thought of it first. But this time the new slogan, targeted at young women in Europe, could be even worse. Because it is: Here I Am. First thought: am I the only Catholic who sees this and thinks, "Be Not Afraid" would actually be a better slogan if you are going to dip into the hymnal, Nike? Okay sure, probably I am, but second thought: Just do it contains the critical imperative phrase "Do it." And you can't deny the many virtues of "do it," no matter how much you hate companies that serve as neat little microcosms of the horrifying redistribution of income globalization hath wrought, because to "do it" is awesome. But to "do it" with someone who is all "Here I Am" about it is a total bonerkiller. It's just so emphatically…passive, right? Maybe I've just got the McCain campaign's recent reference to dead fish on the brain but I am also pretty sure this slogan could be interpreted to be demeaning to women, although I am going to quit now before I actually get a headache.
Team Google, stocked with runners from company outposts across the country, finished third out 147 corporate teams in the Hood to Coast relay race sponsored by Nike. The course takes runners from Mount Hood to the Pacific Ocean through Oregon. Team Yahooligans? They finished 140th. Google proudly touted the efforts of the team on the official corporate blog. Fast, sure, but were the ultracompetitive Googlers good sports?The post on the blog didn't use the opportunity to solicit support for their fellow runner Chelsee Caskey, an 18-year old from Lincoln High School in Portland, who was the first person to be hit by a car in the 27-year old event's history. Caskey is still in the hospital in serious condition, while the driver of the car was booked for reckless driving and being under the influence of drugs. Donations to help defray her medical costs can be made at any Washington Mutual branch — like the one at Castro and El Camino in Mountain View. A more curious omission: The team's name does not appear on a list of fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, the chosen beneficiary for team donations. If Google did any good by letting employees run the race, it's not mentioned in the blog post or anywhere else. Way to go, Googlers — you might have nearly won the race, but you managed to lose the point.
Newsbreak: Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal regrets posing topless for New York Magazine. Look, I didn't actually know who Rafael Nadal was before he posed topless for New York Magazine except that he is an Olympic athlete and now he has broken the record for shortest length of time between the appearance of said photo on newsstands and the supposed expression of dismay that said photo would ever appear on newsstands. "He is fine with being a sex symbol," a "source" tells MSNBC gossip Courtney Hazlett. "but New York took it a bit further than he was comfortable with."* Oh Jesus Christ.Okay, so yesterday we reported how Nadal's nonsubtle Adonisy photoshoot was actually a calculated effort on the part of his corporate overlord Nike to make him more marketable as a pitchman of clothes that are not made of space-aged lightweight wick-friendly flubber or whatever people are supposed to be "working out" in these days.** But Nike has had a lot of problems this Olympics. Namely: it does not sponsor Michael Phelps, it does not sponsor Shawn Johnson, and it does not sponsor Nastia Liukin. You are going to have to trust me when I say this FREAKS THEM THE FUCK OUT. One former Nike executive we know even blames the $19 billion athletaspirationalism peddler's relevance insecurity for its inexplicable Orwellian internet manhunt of the anonymous troll who suggested it forced underperforming runner Liu Xiang to drop out of the games:
You thought that Rafael Nadal's pensive, shirtless pose on the back cover of New York magazine last week was just one more coup by the mag's upscale media trendsetters? Think again! Nadal himself-or, more accurately, his corporate overseer Nike-is in the midst of remaking his entire image, shifting it from that of a wild young ball-slinger to something "more mature" (and better able to sell polo shirts). The first casualty: his capri pants. Sorry, ladies: