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Friday, December 08, 2006

Product placement


I don't know if this is an actual case of intentional product placement in a television show, or not. If so, it worked. On me.

For almost as long as I can remember, I have always been around Converse All Stars. For instance, I went to a very basketball intensive high school where All Star high-tops were the shoe of choice. Heck, they were the only court shoe back then, as I recall.

Then, some years later I had kids - girls, to be exact. By that time, through the prowess of marketing genius (probably in an effort to save a brand), Converse All Stars had made the transition from plain white basketball shoe to cute little girl shoe. And I bought them for the girls. To this day, my oldest daughter is a diehard Converse wearer. Although, she doesn't call them All Stars.

Through all these years being around Converse All Stars, and buying them for other people, I somehow avoided any desire to own them for myself. Until a month or so ago. I was watching a reality TV show...

(Stop! I never watch those kinds of shows. Well, backing up a bit, in another online world when reality shows were in their infancy, I was sort of quite intimate with the concept. But, that's another story. So, even though I don't care for those kinds of shows, now, I recognize the format.)

I don't even know the name of this particular show. But, I was flipping channels and noticed Gene Simmons on the screen. Wondering if there might be a reason I should renew a long since dead, and very minor, interest in the music of Simmons and/or KISS, I decided to check it out. For just a minute or two.

It was a scene with Simmons and, I think, his partner's sister, planning a surprise birthday party. The sister, in a show of exasperation with the process, or just Gene, plops down in a chair and throws her foot up on a table.

And there it was. A torn and frayed (oops, sorry) well-worn Converse All Star. In all it's glory. Being sported by a middle-aged white chick. Fuck. That did it. I didn't exactly go out the next day and buy the shoes. But I thought about them until I couldn't stand it anymore.

So, here I am at the age of 50 with my first Converse All Stars. Product placement? Maybe. Or, perhaps just a little mid-life crisis.

Posted by Marie at December 8, 2006 11:02 PM


chucks, mom, chucks.

Posted by: allie at December 9, 2006 4:18 AM

So, those are Converse All Stars? They look like the Keds my mom used to buy for us at Kent's (A now defunct discount department store). I know nothing of brands and types. Wouldn't know an Air Jordan from a cross trainer. In my mind, they are all tennis shoes. Someone in New Orleans might bet you that he knows you where you got 'em. The correct answer to that is "on your feet".

Posted by: Rob at December 9, 2006 7:59 AM

I went through at least half a dozen pairs in high school (they had started selling them in colors then, and I had a red pair and a green pair along with standard-issue black and white). I stopped wearing them when better shoes started coming along 'cause I think they were brutally hard on the feet (for instance, I think their idea of "arch support" was a microscopic ridge in the middle of the insole).

Posted by: Dan at December 9, 2006 1:21 PM

Allie, I know. It's still difficult to switch words after so many years.

Rob, I remember Keds.

Dan, Living in and around Chicago, you must have been in an an advanced shopping area, as in bigger markets get better selections, or something like that. Whereas, Springfield only had white back then. So far, these are pretty comfortable.

Posted by: Marie at December 9, 2006 1:54 PM

I think All-Stars (what I call them) are an essential part of any adult's shoe selection. I own two pairs: charcoal canvas lo-top and olive wool lo-top.

In sixth grade, hi-top Converse All-Stars were all the rage. We called them Chuck T's. I remember having a pair of maroon ones (bought at Fishman's Sporting Goods) and a pair of turqoise ones.

Senior year, they came back, this time in the lo-top version. I had green ones.

My kids have worn out four pairs between them. The Girl currently is rocking fuzzy black lo-tops.

Posted by: The Abstract Prosaic at December 10, 2006 2:50 PM

I definitely remember Converse All Stars. In my day, they were either black or white. I preferred white. I don't think I ever played a basketball game in any other shoe. It was the shoe of choice for Bob Cousy.

Of course now no one has even heard of Bob Cousy.

Posted by: Don Ray at December 11, 2006 7:16 AM