Indeed, that was the question. We’d just put all the finishing touches on the ad campaign and I was overwhelmed. For me, it was everything I had ever wanted it to be. As I’d said before, it was like wanting a toy for weeks and then finally getting that new Lazer Tag gun and realizing it wasn’t all that special – only this was the exact opposite. It exceeded all my expectations and I was ecstatic. Amongst the finishing touches were scrolls each bearing the name of our brand in Chinese and a description of the shot. This element would prove to be quite a point of controversy.
While the objective of the ads were to create images that would provide Jump with the proper positioning as a premium brand, there was in fact an underlying agenda. Long bearing a stigma of cheapness and defectiveness, Chinese products had suffered plenty of negative publicity, some deserved, some not. Although we produce quality goods and use only the best factories in China, it was always a point of contention whether we ought to associate ourselves with China or not.
So we decided to “BE DARING.” We set out to incite a sort of cultural movement (not to be confused with a cultural revolution!) that would offer the world a different perspective of the Far East – that it had not only become a forum for the international but that it was beginning to carve its own cultural niche in the global arena. It was a campaign that would, in essence, tell the epic story of a brand who sprang from selling $20 jogging shoes in Taiwan, then to develop a fashion persona and cross over to China, Japan and Korea. From Asia it would reach the shores of South America and Europe where its fashion would take an interesting new direction with the help of an innovative Spanish design team. Now, having arrived in the US the brand has been elevated into the arena of luxury fashion but at a reasonable pricepoint. It is through our unique business model and relationships overseas that we are able to offer such quality and directionality at an entry level luxury pricepoint.
Through Jump’s logos, is the story of the evolution.
And now we introduce the latest iteration.
So when I presented the completed campaign to the rest of the global team the reactions were mixed. No one denied the art direction was compelling and the execution was spot on. The mixed feelings were over the usage of the scrolls. There were concerns that it would limit us and pigeonhole us as a brand for only Asians. Others cited that it might hurt us to be connected to China whose reputation as a manufacturing giant could be in some respects a dubious one.
What I offered was that this campaign wasn’t meant to do that at all. It was meant to appeal to those progressive enough to see it for what it is and not some kind of Chinese propaganda. It’s purpose is meant to bring the consumer into this other world and include them in it. After a flurry of discussion on the matter, Harry made the decision that the scrolls would remain. It was decided that we would be genuine to our roots as a Chinese brand and “BE DARING” enough to pronounce this to the world. We decided that in all of the 5000 years of Chinese history, being the first high fashion brand to become truly global, was an honor we ought to be proud of and share with everyone. Moreover, we wanted to dispel the stigma of China and show just the kind of creativity that can come from a brand such as ours.
So without any more teasers and an overly verbose foreword, here is Sung Kang in Sneaker Deluxe.
Share with us your take on the scroll!?