Its Got to Be the Shoes Essay

Submitted By tr0yyy
Words: 2089
Pages: 9

English 205
4 March 2013
Kobe: From World-Star Beef to World-Star Man Prior to the 1990’s, when people heard the word “Kobe” they either were clueless about its definition or knew that it was a highly, renown beef prized for its delicate tenderness. Today, the first thing that comes to mind when the word “Kobe” is brought up is the world-famous, professional basketball player and arguably one of the best ever. It sure seems spectacular how a man’s namesake, coinciding with cow meat, has superseded the original definition as the presumed thought when we hear the word “Kobe,” but that should not be a surprise to anyone. Watching professional basketball has turned into a means of entertainment and America, being an entertainment culture, it makes those “superhuman” being on our TV, iconic figures in society. Entertainment has also “transformed into a commodity to be marketed alongside all the other products in a consumer society,” making the iconic, Kobe Bryant, a great puppet for advertisement’s intent (Solomon 3). Kobe indeed does help his endorser, Nike, market the signature sneakers they have made for him. Using a celebrity to advertise a brand’s product is just one of the several ways they get society to consume constantly. In Kobe Bryant’s, Nike “Kobe VII” shoe ad, the commercial reveals America’s values of how the consumerist economy turns products into assets of social prestige that trigger a distorted perception of one’s life quality. If a marketing strategy is proven successful, then evidently, there is no need in amending its intent. Since the 1980’s, basketball shoe companies have used their endorsee to promote commercials of the product, which prevailed in making shoes a desirable, fashion commodity. Thanks to Micheal Jordan’s advertising campaigns, Nike has become a billionaire sports corporate. Bryant, who mirrors the same greatness as Jordan, convinced Nike to give him a signature line because he is capable of bringing success like Jordan. In Jordan’s “Air Jordan V” commercial ad, he uses film director, Spike Lee, as a prop to his commercial (Michael Jordan & Spike Lee Air Jordan 5 Commercial, youtube.com). Similarly, in the “Kobe VII” ad, Kobe is accompanied with the likes of Kanye West and Aziz Ansari (WELCOME TO THE #KOBESYSTEM, youtube.com). Also, both men have products that transcend “the decade-to-decade shift in consumer styles,” which “promote stylistic change” the consumers buy into (Solomon 85-86). When Jordan was introduced with his Nike shoe line, it became a fashion statement, as he turnt basketball shoes into a stylish shoe you can where casually and still has not gone out of style. Kobe’s “Kobe VII” sneaker is a low-top shoe that comes with two soles, one sole being the only built in ankle brace that has yet to ever be released. The fact that two of the most prominent basketball players have had trendy shoes resulting in top-selling products, tells us a lot about cultural behavior. “Entertainment has been moving from the margins of our cultural consciousness- as a mere form of play or recreation- to its center as a major buttress of the economy” (Solomon 6). Sports entertainment has marketable products, like basketball sneaker, which bring players like Bryant and Jordan in the forefront of advertising because they get consumers to buy products that make all players (consumer, sponsor and advertiser) prosper. As Americans, we pride ourselves on being unique individuals, and in Jack Solomon’s, “Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising,” he discusses how we are enticed “to achieve social distinction, to rise above the crowd and bask alone in glory” (543).The “Kobe VII” commercial takes place in a lecture room where Kobe is addressing seven other celebrities in his commercial, making the commercial stands out as “one of a kind.” It is evident that Nike wants you to buy the shoe, but what it implies is that buying the shoe will make you be in a class of your own. In the…