Kenny Powers K-Swiss ad.

Umm…language isn’t suitable for work:

To me this is about the Kenny Powers character and TV show, not about the shoe. I admire K-Swiss for the audacity of doing something that will potentially polarize customers, but still I am flabbergasted. I can’t see how this will work.

That is awesome. Do you know how many highschool kids are goin to be emailing that around? Lots. I’m not sure if they will buy the shoes, but they might.

I think it’s pretty funny. It’s not necessarily a logical thing to do for k-swiss but it will indeed get people talking. And people who don’t like it will probably not be alienated from the brand. They will just not watch this.

I agree. I also think it’s a strong move.
Also the ‘celebrity’ athletes that were hired for this spot are rather C-list and a bit campy but in the context of Kenny Powers they make perfect sense.
This ad with everybody involved will probably has cost about a fraction of the price of 5 seconds with Lance Armstrong.

Besides, it is brilliantly scripted and produced.

Everyone I’ve shown has busted out laughing. Incidently not one of those people has asked about the product itself. I think it’s a hilarious video, but it’s kind of in the same league as the Terry Tate: Office Linebacker videos. I’m curious to see if this will translate into sales.

I think the ads are great. they have people talking about Kswiss now it is up to the product to follow through

the kenny powers/k-swiss ads have been up in the NYC subway (and in print i believe) for months and it seemed like an unusual move at first. but now that i’ve settled into the idea–what’s the difference really between an athlete endorser and a faux-athlete endorser? if it’s to get exposure, and to get people talking, and be funny (in favor of inspiring perhaps) – this is at least as good, if not better. it’s new.

i’ll be interested to see if it translates to sales as well.


If I saw a K-Swiss shoe and it had some of those comedians/athletes in a poster or add near it… I’d be more tempted to go take a look. A group that would spend money to make a commercial like that are people (or a brand) that I: Like, identify with, aspire to be more like (hilarious), and enhance my opinion of the brand.

I don’t really think of K-Swiss as an athletic shoe though I guess it is from all the athletes in it. I think of it more as a style of a shoe that I see friends wearing around town, so IMHO it wouldn’t really hurt that side of the brand

I think it’s funny, but a total gimmick. It’s terribly off brand… Its like if Cole Haan did a commercial with The guys from Jackass. Not to mention it’s biting off elements of other successful campaigns like Old Spice and Under Armour. It’s a shame because any actual design that went into those shoes is instantly overshadowed by the crass (yet funny) dialogue. I just think it makes Kswiss look like they are trying real hard to keep up… If they have to jump through all of those hoops to sell a shoe it must not be a good one. I love it when a product and it’s messaging a born from the same point of inspiration… Unfortunately this isn’t one of those times.

Daaphearthrob - How you would describe K-Swiss brand…

I believe K Swiss’s biggest market is suburban kids who wear simple white leather shoes and probably have other performance shoes. I think this is actually more on brand for them then some of the preppier takes they have done in the past that where somewhat in line with Lacoste. The humorous take is making fun of Nike and Underarmor, which I think is a good pitch, kind of an anti-athletic shoe even though it it mockingly positioned as a performance technology.

I had a similar impression of them .

I’m not a shoenista, haven’t seen commercials (no TV), and just in my personal opinion - they aren’t shoes that I would think of if I were ordering without being in the store.

All I know of it is seeing people around town wearing them, 2 friends who have them that are engineers, and then the general style of the shoe (which I think is alright) - that’s where my opinion comes from. Before this, my thoughts were that K-Swiss is a little conservative and the sides stripes brand badge seem similar to Addidas. ( I just googled them and see a lot more variety however).

With this ad, it stands out more and has more character to me. I also think it’s important to mention - it got to me virally, by email forwards and by seeing it on a blog I read

The KSwiss I remember are the white tennis shoes my catholic elementary school made every kid wear with their uniforms… bland and boring. In the last 5 years I think KSwiss was smart to try and own that preppy past in a more contemporary way, whether they were trying to make those classic “school shoes” cool or by signing Andy Rodick and dedicating some time to creating performance shoes that map with their classic brand qualities… I think they were all smart moves to compete against casual shoes like Sketchers and find a foothold in athletic footwear.

I understand what Mike is saying, the commercial certainly grabs your attention and does fly in the face of the likes of Nike and UA. But the ad campaign has a level of immaturity that just doesnt match up with their brand heritage. It’s a major departure. It’s not honest and it presents the product as if it were a “dick joke”… kind of playing into Nike and UA’s hands… if you want to seriously train you wear our products, if you want to be the class clown… wear KSwiss.

That is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. The marketing/ad guys who did that must have had some balls, and I commend the brand for stepping outside the box. That will get some YouTube views for sure.

Kwiss is a brand that has yet I think to find it’s niche. On one had it is plain white sneakers that aren’t exactly cool, on another it has a tennis preppy heritage, on another they’ve recently been trying to push technology and have made a big launch and some success in the Trialthalon market.

While this may not hit any of those directly or wrap up the brand DNA, I give them credit for doing something different. While Nike may always win ad awards, most of the Nike/Adidas ads are really all the same. Sporty, inspiring, etc. Sort of like how all car ads are some car driving down a twisty road with a voiceover…


True, but I don’t think the prep reference worked, while it might be appealing o you and me (I didn’t buy any though) their last big sales success was the “Tongue Twister”, which is probably the same demo this advert appeals to?

It’s important to note that you and I didn’t buy anything then and we probably wont be buying anything now either. The reality is that these commercials just give these shoes enough street cred to not make the pimply faced kid wearing them not feel like a complete loser when his mom picks them up off of the sale rack at Sports Authority. Maybe they generate some sales now, but they mortgage the brand’s future.

For what its worth, I think they could be edgy, provocative and maybe even funny and stay within their brand dna… its a different prodcut all together, but a recent Oreo’s commercial comes to mind… with the tag line “shut the front door”… its funny, witty, using modern dialouge in an honest way. Very different but still very Oreo.

:slight_smile: true

growing up in the 90’s, K-Swiss has always had a very specific market and image. they were always associated with “west coast” fashion, more specifically, the SoCal lifestyle. NY had it’s uptowns(af1’s), LA had the cortez, and san diego hadk-swiss. i guess the brand is trying the edgier, random, off-comedic approach that has worked for so many other brands. old spice and vitamin water have both benefited from the team-up, but in this case, i don’t think the partnership works.

the old spice commercials work because we’ve always associated the brand with our father’s choices. it was an old brand, for old people. the comedy and humor make it hip and young again.

steve nash’s vitamin water commercials apply that same sense of humor to a product that’s trying to compete with gatorade. gatorade is serious about it’s approach to athletes, and vitamin water acknowledges that…and understands they can’t compete on that level…so they took a premier athlete and gave him a sense of humor instead. it works.

as for k-swiss…i can’t think of anyone buying a pair of shoes because a comedian endorsed it. i mean, the best compliment you can get is, “hey, are those the k-swiss shoes from that guy in ‘your highness’?”. humor and sneakers have had a great relationship, but it needed elements that relied on both the personality of the endorser, along with the strength of the shoe. it looks as if k-swiss is just relying on th haha factor that kenny powers is providing.

I dunno I really like the approach. It makes the brand more relevant and at least stand for something and have a personality. Best thing I could say about kwsiss before was the are white. Question is if they will keep this personality in future marketing and brand communications. If not it’s a one off haha.


I interned at K-Swiss almost a year ago, so thing might be slightly different now. But this is based on what I understood back then.

K-Swiss Athletic and K-Swiss Lifestyle are two completely different animals. The athletic side of Kswiss is strongly based in Triathlon segment. This is where the Tubes core market is right now. From what I understand the Kenny powers endorsement is a way to get that technology out to a greater audience.

The classic white shoe/tounge twister is the traditional lifestyle side of Kswiss and has a different marketing approach. So the cross over effect does impact this part of the brand image, but Kenny Powers isn’t meant to be a spokesperson for the classic K-Swiss look.