Both Nicki Minaj’s advertisement and Run DMC’s song “My Adidas” serve as commercialization for the popular clothing and shoe brand Adidas; however, the way in which they execute the brand differ. While Run DMC give Adidas an old-school, back-in-the-day vibe, Nicki Minaj glamorizes it. For example, multiple big name locations are shown in the commercial, such as Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. This contrasts Run DMC’s use of Adidas, fundamentally, as a medium of camaraderie. (“We make a mean team, my Adidas and me.”) While hip-hop is about both this companionship and glamour, individualization is more explicitly blatant in Nicki Minaj’s commercial, from the way the actors dress to the lyrics in the Nicki Minaj song used. (“It’s something you create”).
In the commercial, vivid, neon colors and textures (i.e. sparkles) are a central theme. Such aspects have become a marker of hip hop culture, from the atypical color of hair to neon sneakers. It is also implied that Adidas is not merely footwear, but almost a lifestyle – the women depicted in Rio are shown wearing Adidas shirts in addition to the shoes. By the portrayal of such vastly different places in Nicki Minaj’s commercial, she incorporates a connection with the universality of hip hop culture. There is also a unique utilization of bandanas by the commercial by the dancers in Tokyo. Bandanas are a staple of hip hop culture and it adds to connect with hip hop culture more broadly.
Run DMC takes a traditional take on the representation of hip hop culture. “They are not used as selling shoes/They’re black and white, white with black stripes/The ones I like to wear when I rock the mic.” The glamour factor is definitely not there, but the conventionality of them make the Adidas brand as appealing as Nicki Minaj’s commercial does. Also, the two are catering to completely different audiences. Nicki Minaj is a mainstream rapper in this day and age, whereas Run DMC had their time back in the day. Both the song and the commercial essentially use fashion to represent hip hop, and while they do it in different respects, it gets their message across while still advertising Adidas.