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Just for Feet - Kenyan Runner

January 31, 1999 | :30

People still talk about this Super Bowl XXXIII ad for being just so wrong at so many levels. In a 2012 look back at what he deemed possibly the worst Super Bowl ad of all time, Ad Age's Matthew Creamer wrote:

With a racial sensibility imported from the Belgian Congo circa 1908, the ad featured a barefoot Kenyan runner bounding across the savanna while being tracked by white men in a Humvee, who, in some sort of colonialist fever dream, drug the runner and force some new kicks on to his feet. After an industrywide spanking, Just For Feet blamed its agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, with a lawsuit it eventually aborted. But that's not all. While the crappy ad was being put together, company executives were engaged in widespread accounting fraud and just a few months after the Big Game the retailer went into bankruptcy. Its remains were bought by a company that a few years later went though its own bankruptcy proceedings. The last store closed in 2004.

 

Send credit info to SuperBowlAdArchive@adage.com.
  • BrandJust for Feet
  • Year1999
  • AgencySaatchi & Saatchi
  • Superbowl #XXXIII
  • Quarter airedQ3