Browsing Tag


Dakarai Turner

Adidas Jumps Over Jordan Brand for the Number Two Spot

October 24, 2017

Last month, it was reported that Adidas has officially passed the Nike owned Jordan brand as the #2 most popular athletic shoe brand in the U.S, with the #1 spot belonging to Nike. So why should you care? This is a pure example of just how far a proper product can take you. Throughout my whole life when the thought of sneakers came up it was pretty much Jordan and Nike up on a cliff and all of the others (Puma, Adidas, Sketchers, Converse, etc) so far down they barely made the conversation. I have vivid memories of the first days of school where everyone sported a fresh pair of Nike’s or Jordan’s. Whether it was basketball shoes, running shoes, or a casual pair, Nike was the shoe on everyone’s mind. Until now.

Although Nike still has the #1 spot, Adidas was able to make a name for themselves and disrupt the footwear market in 2017. In the first quarter of 2017, the brand pulled in $6.4 Billion which is an 18.9% increase compared to the previous year. What helped drive this growth? Sneakers such as the Superstar (photo below), the NMD Runner, the Tubular Shadow, the Alpha Bounce, and the Stan Smith. It’s certainly worth noting that last year for the first time in over a decade, Nike did not have the highest selling sneaker in the U.S. This spot belonged to the classic Adidas Superstar. One of the first steps in the Adidas takeover.

On top of simply great products that capitalize on the current sneaker trends, Adidas has also leveraged celebrity partnerships such as their highly successful Air Yeezy line of shoes with Kanye West. Often seen as the reason why Adidas is currently #2, although this isn’t exactly the case. I think if anything Kanye West has elevated the overall perception of the brand, which is difficult to attribute to direct sales figures. However, the brand has seen a bigger push with their classic Superstar and Stan Smith shoes.

Although Adidas still has a long way to go before taking over the #1 spot in North America, it is still quite impressive to see how fast they’ve grown considering Nike is like the Coca Cola of the footwear market. This meaning it’s a brand that is widely recognized as the leader in their category that is also seen as the brand that will forever reign supreme. The exciting part about two companies going head to head is that the products they deliver will simply get better. The engineering behind the shoes will be elevated, the marketing campaigns attached with every shoe release will be on point, and the brand’s will continue to push the culture forward. If I’m speaking from personal experiences, my last few shoe purchases have all been Adidas and it might just be a result of seeing them around more often.

What do you guys think? Could you see Adidas taking passing Nike in the near future?



Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (September 16 – September 22)

September 22, 2017

In the world of advertising and marketing, a lot can happen in a week-not to worry, we have you covered. Check out some of the biggest trends, ads, and stories that have been happened this week in our recap below!

Written by: Dak, Malick, Kathleen, and Nick


Netflix Premieres a Spot for the Emmy’s

D: At this point, I would be shocked if Netflix wasn’t in your top 5 list of favourite brands. And although that would primarily speak to millennials, I believe their reach is much further. To pair perfectly with The Emmy’s earlier this week, the entertainment company released an ad that featured scenes from their most popular shows being interrupted by comedians such as Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, and Dave Chappelle as a way to show the comedy aspect that Netflix brings. An example is a scene where Frank Underwood, a character from House of Cards is in a limousine staring blankly outside of the window. He’s joined by Jerry Seinfeld who appears to be testing a stand up gig. The end super for the ad? “Netflix is a joke”. I think it goes without saying that they have been able to do an amazing job connecting with the culture in terms of the content they provide as well as the way it’s promoted. Check out the hilarious video below.

Coca-Cola Goes Virtual

K: Coca-Cola just signed an endorsement deal with a virtual athlete?? It’s true! Alex Hunter is the superstar in FIFA 18. In case you are not very familiar with FIFA like myself, Alex Hunter is not a real person. He is just a player in FIFA who started to make a name for himself in the game last year. Hunter was the lead character in a new feature of the EA Sports game story mode called “The Journey”. It allows fans to leave the pitch and follow a player’s personal life. Last year Alex Hunter signed his first endorsement deal with Adidas, this year fans will see his new endorsement deal with Coca-Cola. He will be the brand ambassador for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in a remake of the classic “Mean Joe Green” from 1979. What do you think about this advertising being done on video games? Check out the videos below.


M: I told you…AR is changing the consumer technology game right now. Through their App (and the new Apple iOS 11 update) IKEA is using AR technology to allow people to place virtual furniture in their homes. This basically allows people to see how different pieces would look/fit into the design of their house without actually purchasing. While this is still pretty brand new and there are a few kinks in it, I still think it’s fascinating. Allowing people to see what kind of furniture can match their home pre-purchase truly allows for customization and personalization of one’s home. I can’t wait to see how this kind of technology develops even further. Check out how it works below:

Budweiser and Lift Are Offering You a Free Ride

These days we’re so inundated with advertising that campaigns need to go above and beyond to have any impact. Some brands offer direct benefits to their consumers. Others partner with a different brand, combining their resources. Bud and Lyft are doing both.

The two brands have paired up for their Give a Damn campaign, encouraging consumers to plan ahead for nights out on the town. But they’re doing more than just preaching “don’t drink and drive”. They’re offering to pay for your ride. 10,000 free rides to be exact. Every. Single. Weekend. From now until the end of the year. (Though unfortunately for local readers, Lyft is only available in the US.). This is a brilliant campaign. It requires regular interaction on the part of the consumer, drives social media following and engagement, increases the number of Lyft subscribers, and is a public display of corporate responsibility on behalf of Budweiser.



That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads, trends, and more that we could find over the week. You can check out our last weekly recap here where we gave our thoughts on the latest Pepsi ad. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Malick Ba

Pop-Up Shops, Hypebeasts, and Coffee

August 15, 2017


On my way to work last Friday, I noticed a very peculiar sight.It was around 8:30am and I noticed several young adults lined up outside of a shop on Queen st. After a closer look, I noticed that the shop that they were standing outside of was an Adidas pop-up shop. As I thought to myself, could these…could these be the hype beasts that the internet has been talking about? For those who don’t know, by urban dictionary a hypebeast is, and I quote: “Sneakerheads who only rock hyped up shit to get props b/c they got no self worth or sense of style.” While this is essentially a “you do you” moment, I started to realize the demand of pop-up shops around Toronto.

What makes them so successful? A combination of factors I’d say, but let’s start with exclusivity. Pop-up shops often offer a variety of exclusive products that are often only available while supplies last or for a limited time. We saw the same thing in the city last year when Kanye West opened up a pop-up shop selling exclusive items of clothing in part of his The Life of Pablo tour. Or even the Adidas store that I passed on my way to work. These limited time pop-up shops often contain rare/exclusive products that are simply irresistible for their respective targets. This is what really brings out the hypebeasts.

The other big thing is that with pop-up shops, a lot of them contain some sort of experiential aspect to it as well which adds a level of exclusivity to it as well. For example, earlier this summer, Nescafe opened up a pop-up shop in downtown Toronto that allowed those passing by on the street to come in to not only try a cup of their new instant coffee product, but take a load off and just hang out. I actually discovered this by walking by with a friend one morning and decided to check it out, why not right?


The inside of the café was set up with lounges, hammocks, and couches for those passing by on the street to forget about their busy days and be consumed by a creative execution. What I found super interesting about this is that it’s been an on and off event all summer. These types of pop-ups are great because while yes you are ultimately consuming a product, you get an entire experience out of it which ultimately amplifies product usage or functionality.

I definitely think that living in Toronto lends itself to these type of experiences. Pop-ups have become something that are frequently being used by brands to bring an entirely unique experience for their customers. The era of the pop up shop is among us-and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Buy a Shoe, Change the World: A Look Into Cause-Related Marketing and the Millennial Mindset

March 7, 2017

Sunday night – scrolling through Facebook as usual making internal comments about people’s posts and then an article jumped at me. A friend and co-worker of mine shared an article about Adidas making shoes from ocean plastic and it was something that I had to read immediately. I suggest you all read the article from Global Citizen, but essentially Adidas will be releasing a pair of shoes that will do its small part in cleaning up the oceans that are filled with 8 million tons of plastic each year. Reading this article had me thinking about cause-related marketing and our expectation for brands in 2017.

According to Cause Good, “64% of shoppers say simply giving money away isn’t enough; they want businesses to integrate social impact directly into their business models“. With that being said, I wanted this article to spark that level of thought amongst whoever is reading this. Especially as millennials, do you personally find yourself leaning towards brands and products that work towards making a lasting, positive impact on the future?

To put things into perspective, these new Adidas shoes are going to come attached with a $220 USD price tag. With that being the case, will you be more inclined to purchase these running shoes over another pair $50 cheaper? Assuming that you love both styles, and the comfort level is the same. The main difference being that one will have some sort of impact on a better future, while the other will not. We strive to be a part of change in today’s age, and this is reflected with the brands we support. Millennials demand instant feedback and usually care to see an immediate benefit as a result of their actions. Buy a shoe, fix the world.

We are seeing several brands over the last few years adopt a cause-related marketing strategy. Attaching your brand to a relevant cause in today’s age is almost an automatic winner, and the reason is simply because we as consumers want to feel as though we are making a difference in the world. Whether it is something incredibly minimal as buying a $220 pair of shoes contributing to reduce plastic waste in the ocean, we are going to do it. Buy a shoe, fix the world.

So why don’t the majority of us simply donate to charities solving the problem directly and eliminate the retail middle men? At the end of the day, yes we want to save the world, but we also want to get something else out of it. Sure, I can donate x amount of money to a charity that solves x problem, but I also want a really nice pair of shoes in which one purchase would cover two purposes.

Millennials are pro-social minded and they support brands that carry the same mindset. These Adidas shoes are going to be something big for the sole (yup) reason that we all want to buy a shoe, and saved the world.

I’d love to know your thoughts on brands that adopt a cause-related marketing strategy. Does a brand’s impact on the world factor in your purchase of a product? Let me know in the comments below or on our Facebook post!


Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.


Consumed by Culture – Marketing the Hype

March 12, 2016

Guest Article By:  Martin Fortunato

Back in high school I considered myself to have the freshest pair of creps on my feet at any given moment. I remember having stacks of sneaker boxes from the floor to the roof of my room and thinking nothing of it, as if I were just some dude who could wear a different pair of shoes every day of the week. Unlike most people, figuring out my outfit for the day started with the shoes and worked its way up. This eventually led to another passion – but that’s a different story.

As far as sneaker culture goes, Air Jordans set the groundwork for what we know today and has become the benchmark of what every company strives for. Every Saturday Nike releases a new pair of Jordans to retail stores across North America and every Saturday these shoes would eventually sell out. Sometimes it would take days for the sneakers to sell out and other times it could take less than an hour. Being able to push this much product at such a rate is a clear sign of why Nike holds such a big piece of the market share in its industry. So how do marketers capitalize on such a product? The answer is in the name derived from the man himself and built from the exact specifications of the best NBA player to ever play the game. Now I’m no basketball aficionado but when someone asks me who the greatest basketball player of all time is I instantly think of Michael Jordan. I also didn’t grow up in his era but I can only imagine what its like seeing your idol breaking records in a pair of sneakers that the world has never seen before.

Selling off of hype is certainly one way to get product off of shelves and the hype is built up in many ways. It could be derived from the limited quantities being produced, the celebrity co-sign, or the even just the stories behind the shoe.

At this time marketing the sneakers were much simpler because the sneaker culture was much more niche. Marketers would attach the sneakers to an athlete and watch the fans follow. Lets fast forward to today, hopping off of their 30th model of the shoe, Air Jordans are still releasing and still selling every Saturday.

air yeezys

Air Yeezy 2 Collection

Nowadays its not just the athletes who play their roles as influencers. Brands have reached out to all artists and other public figures to drive sales and increase brand presence. There are a ton of influencers out there who are co-signed to a lot of different brands but the most influential is undoubtedly Kanye West. While he was signed with Nike he helped design the Nike Air Yeezy 1 and 2 that literally skyrocketed the brand to even higher heights. But it wasn’t until the period around Watch the Throne, where Kanye shook the sneaker world with the Air Yeezy 2 (and his music), that I started to realize the momentum that sneakers had taken. It was the sneaker that bested all other sneakers with its luxe materials including snakeskin, glow in the dark soles, and gold aglets. At this time sneaker culture and everything associated with it took an unprecedented leap.

Overlooking all the drama, Kanye West is now signed with Adidas and is still creating sneakers. His most recent and sought after creations include the Yeezy 750 and 350 Boost which are made with a taste of luxury via its premium suedes and designer cues. Along with other artists and designers such as Pharrell, Pusha T, Raf Simons, and Rick Owens, he is credited to increasing the presence of the brand in North America and aiding with the jump in sales.

Kanye with fans

Kanye with fans during a Yeezy release

Remember when I said that hype is built up in many ways? Well these factors can actually be marketed together to create the pinnacle of consumer desire. As polarizing as he is, Kanye West has grown to play such a big part in sneaker culture because he is an influencer who brings ground-breaking levels of hype. His sneakers are highly limited and highly coveted in the market and not only does he attract new adopters to the community but he also brings his vast fan following of his music. There is something about owning a limited sneaker designed by one of the most influential people of our time that makes it so sought after. Sneakers are now becoming an extension of status and are being marketed to the masses as essential. Companies noticed this early on and have been capitalizing on it ever since.

A second year student in International Business at Humber College, Martin Fortunato has got a knack for fashion, sports, and pop culture. With ambitions to work in international trade, Martin is planning ahead and hopes to run his own clothing boutique. You can follow Martin here on Instagram