In recent years, sneaker seeding (gifting) has gotten crazier and crazier. Most recently, Reebok and Cardi B sent out a mouth and tongue-shaped sofa that contained Bluetooth speakers and all three pairs of the rapper’s latest Reebok sneaker collab. It was huge. It was crazy. And it was totally unnecessary. But that’s the point.
Now it looks like adidas has set the bar when it comes to insane sneaker seeding. Gearing up to release a new version of Pharrell Williams’ popular Hu NMD sneaker, adidas and Pharrell visited longtime Three Stripes friend Pusha-T to gift him a pair. But it wasn’t as simple as sending over a pair of shoes. Instead, an entire team arrived armed with a remote-controlled, four-legged robot that balanced the shoes on its back and even danced for King Push. It's almost reminiscent of the dog in Black Mirror's "Metalhead" episode.
Sneaker seeding is very much like sneaker innovation in that brands are always trying to one-up each other and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Those lucky enough to get seeded sneakers — celebrities, creatives, and friends of the brand — are often bombarded with over-the-top packaging and fun, yet ultimately useless, accessories or toys that serve to create an “Instagram-able” moment. Brands want people to share what they’ve been gifted to hype up a product prior to its release.
And that’s exactly what Pusha-T did, as he documented the entire mind-blowing seeding process on his Instagram stories, part of which you can check out above. The robot, which was created by Boston Dynamics, features adidas branding and is both fascinating and scary simultaneously.
Personally, I can’t think of any recent seeding activation that comes close to the ingenuity and audacity of Pharrell and adidas’ latest attempt. Pusha-T seems to be the the first to receive this seeding treatment and it remains to be seen whether others will follow. Obviously having Pharrell visit all of the Three Stripes’ friends will be near impossible, due to the current pandemic, though one can dream that Pharrell will show up at your doorstep with a robot and a pair of unreleased sneakers.
The Pharrell x adidas Originals Hu NMD “Cream” is set to be released on February 5 via the adidas Confirmed app and BBC Ice Cream’s online channels.
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