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Nike’s Triumvirate Is Too Late | Dual Racer, Air Zoom Mariah and Dueltone Racer

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Nike has taken an entire year to respond to the growth of adidas in the lifestyle running shoe segment. Now that they have, it’s underwhelming and unfortunately looks like what’s already been done. What’s worse is the brand is still utilizing old strategies and copy to present something that is obviously striving hard to match the success of NMD and UltraBOOST.

Here are the short descriptions of the shoes pictured above:

NIKE DUEL RACER $120.00

The blindingly-fast road racer returns as a sleek
lifestyle sneaker in triple-tone engineered mesh.

NIKE AIR ZOOM MARIAH FLYKNIT RACER $150.00

The ’80s racer makes a triumphant return as a
lifestyle sneaker in foot-hugging flyknit.

NIKE DUALTONE RACER $90.00

Inspired by iconic race-day flats, this lifestyle sneaker
fits closely with dual-density cushioning.

The direct use of what the shoe is intended for isn’t marketing. Nike has never been so overt in delivering the use of its footwear. They have never had to say, “Lifestyle Sneaker” in the promotion of its products. They never had to stress that a shoe was “80s” to try and capitalize on retro heritage which is on trend. Nike has always been synonymous with sport and sport was the lifestyle. Nike simply created product and the product spoke for itself.

Actually, polished marketing spoke, but it conveyed what the world aspired to be, athletic, powerful, graceful.

In the delivery of these three shoes, there isn’t any ZOOM X or Vapor. The pricing is right, but it doesn’t matter.

Just as the brand has been for the last year as adidas has moved forward to gain ground, these shoes are boring.

Now juxtapose this with how adidas launched the NMD last year when they began to really dive in and diversify the NMD. adidas didn’t rest on their growth they immediately changed the NMD and UltraBOOST. They uncaged UB, introduced Parley, and then hit us with R2, CS and PK versions. Most important they dropped a 15 second spot that wasn’t polished. It spoke to the rebellious spirit of youth:

A few weeks ago I wrote this article:
Today, I visited the Nike site and they are promoting their three new 80’s inspired, lifestyle sneakers. There aren’t any visuals or anything inspirational. It’s just shoes and that’s not enough.