Culture Jam

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The ad is for a new pair of sneakers called Yeezy Boost 350 and they are being launched by rapper Kanye West. He is using shoe giant Adidas as the launching platform along with clever marketing to arouse excitement and curiosity amongst consumers. The ad I am using has a simple plain background to it with a few words which happen to be the name of the shoes and who they are by. The shoe itself has a distinctive look and shape of it seems similar to the Nike Free Runs. Interestingly enough there is no logo for Adidas on the ad which I believe is quite clever of West. If the logo was there it could potentially deter certain buyers as they may reconsider buying a pair of “Adidas” for such an expensive price. Also, when one thinks of Adidas usually the first thing that comes to mind is soccer and of course these shoes are not meant for that. Partnering up with such a well-known brand and ensuring limited quantities does prove to be successful for the rapper as the shoes usually fly off the shelves (that’s if they even reach the shelves) the minute they are released. The ad displays a sold out sign and as I was browsing the internet that is the only thing I saw as well. It actually shocks me when I see the amount of “craze” generated by such a product. If you were to remove Kanye West’s name from the shoes I am certain the sales would not be the same. The power a celebrity has for drawing regular consumers towards a product is evident in this case. The problem I will be addressing with my jamming is the cost. The cost is high in both the primary market and the secondary market such as Amazon and eBay.

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The shoes retail from $250 – $350 depending on which model you’re buying. Through personal experience and reviews from others, the shoes are definitely not worth the price tag. Given that they are Adidas it is hard to justify spending $300 + dollars on them. Kanye’s selling technique is to ensure only a small quantity is available for purchase and those who do get lucky enough to grab a pair usually sell them in secondary markets for absolutely absurd prices ranging anywhere from $1000 to $2500. Designer shoes such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton are priced around $400 – $500 but Adidas exceeding that price should not be the case. For example the quality and build of Gucci shoes would exceed that of Kanye’s shoes along with the existence within the fashion industry for several years.

By altering the words I have created a new meaning that exposes what the brand is actually doing. Most consumers are paying $300+ for the shoes but it is the secondary market in which the desire to acquire Yeezy Boosts really “setbacks” an individual. The Yeezys are marketed towards young individuals and are unisex so both men and women can wear them (again a huge plus point as you are not catering towards a specific gender). For teenagers and young adults, it is a way to look cool and fit in with society by buying such products. “Hey check out these new Yeezys I bought” but do you also realize the amount you spent to be a part of this trend. Tomorrow another rapper may release a pair of shoes and then it will be a race to get those. The marketing works well especially towards the vulnerable individuals who will buy the shoes simply to be accepted by others. In reality most people buy shoes for the fit, comfort and price. I would say the Yeezys are purchased for the name. The exaggerated price is paid to say that I have Kanye West shoes but in a year will that still matter?