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Vintage Ad Special Feature: Nike Air Max Ad Insert

words & images // Zack Schlemmer

(originally posted January 4th, 2012)

Imagine it's 1987.  You're just an average guy (or girl) flipping through your copy of the new Rolling Stone magazine. You're not a sneakerhead (a term that didn't even exist then) but you know of Nike and Air Jordans and all that. You were just thinking earlier how you need some new running shoes when you turn the page and BAM! you're looking at this ad for a shoe with a glowing bubble that looks like nothing you've ever seen before. After reading the six pages on why Nike Air is the greatest cushioning system out there and why you should buy these new Air Max shoes, you are convinced and go out to get a pair. You realize these are the most comfortable and coolest looking shoes you've ever had and are hooked on Nikes and Air Max runners from then on.

Although this story is made up, there were probably a few similar scenarios after this advertisement insert came out. This has to be one of the coolest and most informative ads ever by Nike. Not only do you get an introduction to the new Air Max shoe complete with fancy scientific graphs, you get looks at other Nike classics like the Air Trainer 1, Air Sock, Air Safari, and Air Force 2. You'll also see some more obscure offerings from Nike like the women's aerobic shoes. Top it off with a few of the best Nike athletes of the time and you have one legendary piece of advertisement.

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