Nike's Nu-Rave Marketing Ploy

I’ve always been fascinated/disturbed by secret societies, but this time I’m simply disgusted. Yesterday’s WWD contained a horrifying article about Nike’s latest attempt to ruin the world, this time through an invitation only series of fitness classes called Project: Classified, held here in New York. It sounds innocuous enough, until their marketing people open their mouths and vomit up things like “Our reputation precedes us. To be asked is to want to participate” and compare Project: Classified with “a place on a Birkin bag wait list or reservations at the Waverly Inn.” Really? Launched in April of 2006 with the “Gotham Workout” class, each fitness event is held in a “raw space” with an esoteric idea behind it (the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank as a metaphor for “the levels of access and security that conceal something valuable”). There’s a warehouse party rip-off vibe about the whole thing: “Project: Classified swarms in, permeates a space and then leaves. The venues are unexpected, readapted, overtaken.” Well I’m overtaken with nausea. I don’t do faux-cool marketing initiatives, so Nike, if any of your be-suited gentlemen arrive at my apartment bearing one of your cardboard (“a material often used to hide or protect”) invitations bearing Project: Classified’s cicada (“heard but rarely seen”) logo, you can be sure that your reputation does indeed precede you, but that to be asked isn’t necessarily to want to participate.

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  • Squeezebox

    You tell ’em girl.

  • Julie

    HA! Sooo lame. As someone in who now lives in what was once an unfinished textile factory let me tell you buying cool never works since most of the time it is dusty and itchy! But what do I know? I am just a gentrifier who tries to be cool!

  • Mellie

    Hmmm…. I guess I need to learn and read more about this – but it seems like a business thing, and it doesn’t really annoy me. Nike is a brand & marketing genius – so if this works for business, even if it is a bit fake-cool I think it’s a success. And anyway, what isn’t fake-cool these days?? I was looking through Paper magazine and every new young band looks so so so oh so cool zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh sorry, just fell asleep while thinking about these cool kids. Maybe I’m showing my (old) age, haha! 🙂

  • bias

    They’re doing something like that here too. It’s desperately sleazy and not in a gold lame kind of way.