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Adidas brand: Blessed by the Kings of Rock, Run DMC

I remember being sent to detention my sophomore year. I don't even remember what I had done (this time). But I hated detention. It was quiet as a morgue. I had nothing to read and it looked like the clock was almost moving backwards. Sitting up ahead of me was Che.We did not really like one another too much, but, we both loved Hip-Hop. Che had his SF Giants starter jacket on and his immaculate jerri curl was dripping like a rain forest all down the back. He had a Sony Walkman (remember those) tucked up under the curl.

He leaned over to me at one point when the teacher was dozing off and said "Have you heard he new Run DMC?" He put the thumping, greasy ear pieces in my hand. I reluctantly put 'em to my head and my mind was blown away.

No rap song earth has had the brand impact of Run DMC's My Adidas. This is arguably the first rap song that doubled as an advertisement. If you were lucky enough to be a teenager when this song came out, you remember the frenzy over Adidas was already big because Run, DMC and Jam Master Jay (Rest in Peace) wore 'em.

But the song? THE SONG?? My Adidas was the official stamp of approval of a brand by the Kings of Rock. The impact has never stopped. I can still remember the first time I saw the Adidas Run DMC shoe in the window after leaving a friends college graduation at Stanford. They wanted to go to dinner and I was glued to the glass, trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get the money for those sneakers. Think about it. This was essentially a 3 minute ad for shoes and it was getting played all across the world!

I still don't think the world will ever truly be able to measure the economic benefit one song did for Adidas brand penetration and loyalty. All born from the pend of three guys in Hollis Queens. Adidas executives could never pay Run DMC enough for the impact, but they should try.

The hype was so out of control, I remember how many kids used to get stabbed or shot for a fresh pair of Adidas. It was a wild time...Neither Hip-Hop nor advertising would ever be the same again.

The Song (pay attention to the imagery):

DMC and the story behind My Adidas:

P.S. This post is dedicated to Che.

-Beyond Urban Branding


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