design thinking

Advertising. by Adam Cooper


"ORIGINAL IMAGE designed by Karina Nurdinova and inspired by a quote from Banksy, which was inspired by Sean Tejaratchi's 1999 essay, "Death, Phones, Scissors." There's a bit of controversy about this quote, read about what Tejaratchi says about it here." -


Confession: My name is Adam and I'm in advertising. I came in to advertising through a boutique branding agency in Trinidad merging with a large, global advertising agency. And that experience has made me understand that branding can be perceived as the polar opposite to advertising, where branding is intended to be a reflection (or a projection) of identity versus advertising being a deliberate demand of someone's attention and money.


Redefine New Sh¨t. by Adam Cooper

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This is such a great way to learn about the functionality of the Air Jordan 2012. It’s almost a fool-proof system to get everyone to read up on the fly over, fly around and fly through silos of this product. Crazy impressive. I love Nike and Brand Jordan for this. 

On the flipside, though, I think that footwear companies are shooting themselves in the foot by defining communication success by telling consumers what to do with their products. The cultural and lifestyle value that footwear brands enjoy is based on people expressing themselves through products that were designed for completely different ends. Is there a product marketing funnel that aims to create and distribute cultural and lifestyle icons, or is it a game of fate to rely on iconic kicks to sustain that aspect of a footwear brand?

Decades ago when media and sales channels didn't have the bandwidth to educate the masses about the technical, functional and emotional aspects of products, people took ownership of the Dunk, the Stan Smith, the AJ11 Concords, the Shelltoe, the Chuck Taylor and the Goadomes and redefined what their purpose. These are shoes that are designed for performance, but we’ve voluntarily changed what they mean, how they make us feel, and their roles in culture.

What type of sneakers will we be wearing in 20 years when the vintage, iconic sneakers are weak and out of style and there is even more media that thoroughly explaining their function? We need to start redefining new sh¨t, but where do we start?