While everyone inside and outside the ad business was frothing at the mouth over the 2 1/2 minute Wieden & Kennedy ad for Nike that appeared on MTV and is really a music video, or vice versa (how soon we forget Michael Jackson and Pepsi!), the real Nike story that was overlooked last week was that the big sneaker is hip-hopping to the big stage. Wieden and commercial-production company @radicalmedia are entering into a joint venture called Willing Partners to co-produce a musical about basketball. The show is called "Ball" and it's based on an idea by Jimmy Smith, a copywriter at the agency. "The musical was inspired by the NYC campaign we did for Nike about five years ago," said Jon Kamen, president of @radical. "And the current Freestyle campaign was inspired by this musical, which we've been working on for four years." Hold on, there's more: The music video/ad was inspired by the Freestyle campaign too. Talk about art imitating reality. Actually, this is art imitating art, most likely with very little reality to interrupt. Charles Randolph-Wright co-wrote the "Ball" script with Smith and will direct. Savion Glover signed on to do the choreography, Bootsy Collins, Nona Hendryx and other musicians will provide the score. "It has the backbones and the roots of Greek tragedy," said Jon. "It is based on Sophocles' `Antigone.' In many ways, I would say that it is a contemporary `West Side Story,' but it is set in a contemporary court." Well said, Jon. Adages can't shake a sneaking (or sneaker) suspicion that there is a film deal in the works, too. That would make it a sneaker film inspired by a sneaker musical inspired by a sneaker ad (NYC) that inspired another sneaker ad (Freestyle) that inspired the sneaker video. A sneaker book is sure to follow. That's a lot of dirty socks.
A team from Barefoot Advertising was presenting a storyboard to new business-to-business client PlanetFeedback.com in Cincinnati last week when their remarks were punctuated by screams and the sound of breaking windows on the street below. An angry mob protesting the fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American male by a white Cincinnati police officer was responsible. Two days of unrest led to broken windows, fires and other assorted vandalism, but no serious injuries. "We're all OK, but Cincinnati has much to think about," said PlanetFeedback CEO Pete Blackshaw.
Ides of March
Adages' favorite site of the moment is marchsecond.com, dedicated to lampooning bankrupt i-shop MarchFirst. The site's creator, Joshua Jacobson, created it after MarchFirst's launch last spring because he felt its branding was ripe for parody.
Little did he know the company would become one of the Internet's most troubled rollup plays. The Chicago-based dud April 12 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced it would liquidate. Jacobson says that he noticed traffic spikes up to thousands of hits a day whenever MarchFirst let go employees. Jacobson is with San Francisco-based site kick.com and has not worked at MarchFirst himself.
MarchFirst has never contacted him about the site, but plenty of others have. A fake "Jobs" link has resulted in Jacobson receiving boatloads of resumes. Those, too, appear to be fake, sent by people with a sense of humor.
With reporting by Jack Neff and Catharine P. Taylor.
E-mail your fake resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.