Weeks ago, the makers of Adidas footwear released news of it’s latest creation. They were called Shackles; for obvious reasons. The outcry was immediate by many who saw it as a slap in the face of consumers. The cries of racism and prejudices towards African Americanscould not be missed. Many who voiced their disdain regarding this apparent and most flagrant marketing venture.
However, the response to the public was that it was not meant to been seen as racist or negative in any way. Rather, they wanted the public to rest assured that it was just the designers attempt to express his artistic style and capitalize on the ever popular hip hop trend.
Many who have protested this issue have touted that it is a form of subliminal messaging. My reply to this is that it is not subliminal in any shape of the imagination. For something to be considered subliminal, Websters dictionary states that it is, “existing or functioning below the threshold of consciousness.” This situation does not meet that criteria on any level.
While there is no direct admission that Adidas hopes to capitalize on weak minded people and reinforce the notion that their target market are slaves and inmates and should not deviate from that mindset, the mere fact that they refuse to reconsider the appropriateness of this new product illustrates ignorance, insensitivity and a lack of connection to its own core mission, which according to their own website includes being, “consumer focused, and a global organization that is both socially and environmentally conscious, embracing creativity and diversity.”
I suppose you could say that their strategy for accomplishing the task bears out the truth of what the objective truly is; “harnessing the culture and pushing boundaries.” But a message just as blatant and obvious must be conveyed back to them that they have pushed too far and that it will not be tolerated or accepted in any fashion on any level.
Whether the message was meant to represent the public as slaves to fads and fashion or however you choose to spin it, the message is loud, clear and unforgettable. It you want to prove that hatred and bigotry is dead in America, than you cannot accept the excuse of it simply being artistic expression or an attempt to plug into a trend, whether or not it has been embraced by a few who don’t recognize or care what message it conveys about them. There is a much larger populace who believes above all else in the right to be respected as human beings and equal in all.
QUESTION: Why do you feel shackles are appropriate or inappropriate in marketing?
- Adidas criticized for ‘shackles’ sneakers, denies link to slavery (thelook.today.msnbc.msn.com)
- Beverly Hills Designer’s New Adidas Shoe With Shackles, Chains Called Racist (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
- Adidas Accused of Putting Slave Shackles on Shoes [PHOTOS] (bagladyboutiqe.wordpress.com)
- Rev. Jesse Jackson: Adidas Shackle Shoe Human Degradation (huffingtonpost.com)
- Adidas Slammed for Launching Slave Shoes With Shackles Around the Ankles (shoppingblog.com)
- Dear Adidas: Who Thought Shackle Sneakers Were A Good Idea? (clutchmagonline.com)
- Adidas’ Slave Shoes? (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- What Was Adidas Thinking With Its Shackle Shoes? (thinkprogress.org)
- Olympic Sponsor Adidas Shuffles Out ‘Slave Sneakers’ Before London Games (forbes.com)
- New Adidas shoes come with chain that resembles shackles (thegrio.com)
- Adidas: Poor Judgment, Not Racism? (theroot.com)
- Adidas Accused Of Adding “Slave Shackles” To New Sneakers [PHOTOS] (hiphopwired.com)
- Adidas, Under Pressure, Cancels ‘Shackle Shoe’ (snspost.com)
- Adidas criticized for ‘shackles’ sneakers, denies link to slavery (innerstandingisness.wordpress.com)
- Adidas Kills Jeremy Scott’s Shackle Sneakers (Or “Slave Shoes”) (laist.com)
- New adidas ‘shackle’ sneakers: Slavery symbolism? (clickondetroit.com)
- Shackles and Chains New Fashion Trend? (urbancandy.typepad.com)
- Adidas, Jeremy Scott Under Fire For ‘Slave Sneakers’ (thegloss.com)
- How Adidas trains us to be slaves to fashion | Lola Adesioye (guardian.co.uk)