Click to follow
The Independent Culture
ANOTHER training shoe ad! Another big production number! Another set of Bladerunner images! So what's new or remotely interesting about Adidas's latest expensive "catch-up" commercial with Nike and Reebok (who started earlier)? Simply that it dramatises the conflict between two of the great lifestyle scams of modern American youth marketing. On the one hand we have the world of the new technology, Cyberhype, on the other the celebration of the body and outdoors - the Natural High.

So we start with the Bladerunner set, of course - and we hardly notice it, now it's so familiar in this kind of ad. Then we have The Prisoner, a young blond man, very thin, brought forth in a monk's robe to be interrogated by what appears to be Uma Thurman, in her Pulp Fiction black bob. And then, the updated, classic technology-myth emerges: they're stealing our souls. "According to a professor at MIT, man will be able to download himself" - to interface with electronic systems, become part of them.

The personality will be transferred, the voiceover continues - while our boy, now stripped, is cruelly treated by invading circuitry, his dreams manifesting in clouds around him (somewhere between Michelangelo and Duran Duran's Wild Boys video).

There'll be no need for the body once the transfer is completed, it can be chucked. So the pallid husk goes down a very long chute; landing on his Adidas trainers and re-appearing in silhouette on a sunlit mountain top. "Escape while you can" is the message from Adidas Adventure World.

This is the first time I've seen this fascinating idea explored in an ad. It cleverly dramatises a very basic fear, and gives training shoes an entirely new role. Forget basketball and rap self-expression, try Survivalist.

8 Video supplied by Tellex Commercials.