Be controlled. Just do it!

Transcript of video:

One of the great marketing achievements of the last 50 years that I find truly interesting is the manufactured desire for the trainer, the sneaker, the pump. I remember in my late teens being highly manipulated by the marketing, the adolescent need to ‘fit in’, the incredibly infectious advertising for the swoosh, that longing to own a pair. As we see in history it got so ridiculous to the point where people were killing one another for a pair of Air Jordans, as a Nike executive in the US publicly admitted and revealed in a book he released in 2022. Steve Jobs remarked in a marketing speech he gave over 25 years ago; Nike really knew how to market their product. They do it so well and have continued into the present. It’s hard to identify what makes them so desirous, what creates a person to salivate over essentially something as trivial as a pair of shoes, but of course it isn’t the shoes, it’s the marketing, the engineered and manufactured compulsion, the need to be seen with a pair on our feet. So effective is the story, the narrative we’ve been told and sold that we think by wearing and owning a pair of Nikes that we are ‘somebody’, that we have climbed to the highest ranks of the social echelon. Do we really need a global corporation to tell us that we are somebody by possessing a pair of trainers? Really? Is that how far we come through our evolution? Apparently, we do. But are they our possessions, I think it would be more apropos to say that those who buy into the marketing fantasy are possessions of Nike. They own you. You don’t own them. I managed to remove myself from the clutches of the Nike marketing machine many years ago. I personally found my vanity wasn’t important enough to fund a corporation that built its profits through the sweatshop industry. When I look back, I am actually quite embarrassed to see the younger me so easily seduced by the marketing which informed me that I could be someone if I owned, wait for it, a pair of trainers. It’s really quite ridiculous when you look at it like that isn’t it? My only excuse would be that I was young. But I’m not trying to excuse myself, I was that person then. I’m not denying that to some people they are aesthetically pleasing, that for some they function very well as a sport shoe, and there are pairs of Nikes that take me down memory lane and the world I inhabited at the time, but as I get older, it’s a world I want to leave behind. I don’t want to be reminded of an age where I was so easily intoxicated and mesmerized by the sheer frivolousness of something on my feet, where I was easily led by the hypnotism, kept under the impression that I was an achiever for the simple act of purchasing a pair of trainers. Let’s be honest they are incredibly easily obtainable, and millions of people wear them. We are hardly individuals in them. We are hardly special. We are hardly unique. Which is the polar opposite of what the marketing tells you again and again and again. Do you really believe you are in control of your life? Ask Nike. Just do it.

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