FOOLED AGAIN; STEPPIN' OUT

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Contest #438: Let's do the time warp again! And again! And again! And will somebody decide just what decade this is anyway? The emerging style of the '90s seems to be a mish-mash of previous decades: '50s Hipsters like William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac are Gen X-icons; '60s drug rock is supplying the music; and '70s disco fashion is providing the look. Budweiser and The Gap have looked to the past to talk to today's young people; who's next? Come up with the next company to indulge in "retro" marketing.

And now the results of Contest #434: we asked you for the next high-tech shoe and you invented: Seeking to recoup $300 million in losses on fat substitute olestra, Procter & Gamble will introduce "Olr," a light-weight running shoe with soles filled with the fat substitute olestra. Ad campaigns will feature the tagline "Finally, you can use olestra to fight fat." Other marketing activities will include sponsorship of a marathon with a course that circles FDA headquarters called "The Great FDA Runaround." Joseph Quigley, attorney, Baker & McKenzie, Chicago.

Second Prize: Converse will launch The Enigma, a shoe that employs Transformer toy technology to become a basketball shoe, baseball cleat, penny loafer, fuzzy bunny slipper, leather pump, wing tip or old-fashioned Chuck Taylor All Star-or whatever the situation requires. Ad campaigns declare, "The secret of life is knowing what's expected...and doing the Converse." Jack Huber, proofreader, Kingswood Advertising, Ardmore, Pa.

Third Prize: The new Air Moses, a Nike-Birkenstock team-up, featuring patented anti-pebble toe guard technology. So comfortable you can wear them out of the store and walk through the desert for 40 years, guaranteed. Tagline: "Walk on water. Climb the highest mountain. Deliver the good news: These boots were made for wandering." Sarah Rosenberg, associate, King & Spalding, Atlanta.

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