Century of Chuck

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Chucks have come a long way since their Bob Cousy days and, in recent years, have become the default shoe for everyone from Billyburg hipsters to Salt Lake City soccer moms. Converse turns 100 next year and to help celebrate Anomaly has created little odes to the independent spirit it says the brand's long association with artists, musicians and other outsiders represents. The spots eschew the usual flash and dash generally expected from sneaker spots and instead go for substance through a purposely low-tech approach.

"When we started to break down the brand, it's been built by people like the Ramones, the Kurt Cobains, the James Deans – people who didn't give a fuck what anybody thought and just followed their heart," says creative director Mike Byrne. "I know the whole 'follow your heart' thing can sound lame but if you look at society it's always the people on the periphery that try the crazy shit and dictate where (culture) goes. All these people associated with Converse weren't going to be part of the pack."

"Three Chords" is a sparse, tight camera shot of a youngster demonstrating the power of three little chords, with the tagline "Learn 3 chords. You'll know 1,000 songs." For Me We the soothing sounds of Bob Marley's "One Love" plays as the M in Me slowly rolls over into a W. In Unsigned Band the story of the now-defunct Florida band of Anomaly creative Ross Aboud scrolls over a still photo of a past gig. "He started telling stories of those days, how they didn't have a record deal, CDs, money or anything and they were happy," says Byrne. "It was about people appreciating what they did and at the time, they didn't really need anything else. That's what it's about."

One thing all the spots have in common? Not a shoe in sight.

"The great thing about these, and I have to give Converse the credit, is that we're not selling anything," says Byrne. "There's no shoes in the spot. We made these on our Macs ourselves and there's a beauty and a simplicity to that. It just comes down to the writing and the concept."

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