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Converse kicks off new campaign for centennial

Nike Inc.’s Converse shoe brand is celebrating its 100th birthday with a new national television and online advertis­ing campaign called Disruption.

The television spots, designed by agen­cy Anomaly, began on December 18 with 30 second spots entitled “Pageant,” “Marketers” and “Grateful.” Various others will be rolled out through 2008 airing on Fox, MTV, VH-1, CW and Comedy Central.

“We are using the media as our weapon to cause disruption,” said Mike Byrne, creative director at Anomaly. “People are going to certain kinds of programs like American Idol or American’s Next Top Model for a certain kind of entertain­ment and we want to disrupt them from that entertainment experience to have them engage with the brand.”

According to Byrne, the disruption oc­curs in the production quality, which in­cludes little to no sound and scrolling text. The lo-fi spots are meant to reach a youth market through a user-generated look and feel. For example, “Three chords,” a 15-second spot, features a 13-year Care Bears on Fire singer playing acoustic gui­tar while “Learn three chords, you’ll know 1,000 songs” scrolls the screen.

Meanwhile, “Marketers” features a fe­male pop star performing in a soda com­mercial while a statement commenting on the nature of marketing (including phrases like “This program was brought to you by old people” and “Enjoy the next commercial”) appear on-screen.

“People don’t want to see commercials, so maybe this is not a commercial,” By­rne said. “It’s a public service announce­ment with a message.”

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