Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Campaign Analysis: Reebok

When Jay Z and 50 Cent signed with Reebok in 2003, they gave new life to a dying brand. Co-signed by the top two names in hip hop, Reebok gained not only marketshare, but some much-sought after "street credibility" as well. The companys next "urban overture" was to launch the "I Am What I Am" campaign in February of 2005- the companys largest in nearly a decade. Thus far, the campaign has been an undeniable success, with Reebok posting an 11 percent rise in revenue (up to $925 million) in the first quarter of 2005. According to Reebok, half of that increase came from entertainment or lifestyle products such as the S. Carter and G-Unit lines. Recently the campaign kicked into overdrive, with deals going to Mike Jones, Lil Wayne, Nelly and Lupe Fiasco in an attempt to build on last years gains. But in the blind rush to duplicate the earlier success, Reebok has jeapordized the progress it has made in the urban market and could end up wasting millions. Take Nelly, for example. Just how seriously are we supposed to take his 'signature line'? He had a hit song called Air Force Ones and a limited edition line of Air Derrtys for cryin out loud. For those with short memories:

Then theres Lil Wayne. Now on the surface, this makes sense, considering the built in popularity of Reebok in his hometown of New Orleans. He even refrences the brand in some early Cash Money songs. But take a casual look at his recent videos, magazine shoots, or stage performances- the dudes a walking billboard for Bape and Nike. So how credible is his seal of approval supposed to be? Its as obvious to me as it is to everyone else that Reebok expects to cop these kicks thats this is just a check for Weezy and not a genuine endorsement. So do some better research, Reebok execs, because moves like this will have your OG Classics collecting dust with some P Millers and Birdman Lugz.