Branded by Nike.

Essay by mlboy00University, Bachelor'sA, December 2005

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There are many influences in a school setting that pressure students to conform. The apparel the "cool" students wear can greatly impact what the others are wearing. These "cool" or fashion-oriented student are considered the trend setters; they are what the others aspire to br. Many students wear these brand names to compensate for their inadequacies or insecurities while others wear them to indicate their social status. Some people do everything "by the book" and wear all the "accepted clothing." Other people are fed up with viral marketing and are non-conformist.

Branded by Nike.

My first encounter with brand consciousness was in middle school during track season. It was the first time I had ever played sports for my school, I was exploding with excitement. It was my first day, and I noticed most of my team mates had spikes; they all were Nike. I looked down at my feet and not only did I not have spikes, I didn't even have running shoes.

I was really embarrassed. That afternoon when my mom came to pick me up from practice, I told her what happened and insisted that I needed a pair of Nike spikes. She was a little reluctant at first, but I finally convinced her to buy them for me. My mom took me out that night to Sports Authority, and I picked out a pair of all black Nike spikes with a white swoosh. When I got those shoes, I thought I was so cool until the next day at practice and realized everyone was wearing brand name clothing.

I glanced at my no name pair of shorts and shirt and then everyone else. I couldn't believe it, again I was the only person who wasn't wearing a brand-name. Every person was wearing Nike, Reebok or some other brand name and I wasn't. As soon as my mom came to pick me up, I informed her about what happened and told her how much I needed brand-name clothing. I begged her the whole ride home to take me out to get new clothes. That afternoon she took me out to buy Nike running shorts and Nike t-shirts. I made my mom buy a different t-shirt and pair of shorts for every day of the week. After we left my mom said, "This was the last time I'm taking you out shopping to buy brand-name clothing. Your only wearing it because everyone else is."

Now that I was all Nike geared up and ready to go, I went to practice and everything was good or so I thought. But in the locker room, I ran into another problem: every one had a brand name gym bag. When my mom came to pick me up, I told her that I was the only one with out a brand name bag. That was the final straw. She told me that there is no way in hell that she's buying another Nike product. I couldn't believe that she wasn't going to but it for me. I went to practice for another week until when I asked her again, I got the same answer. The only solution to this problem was to get a job so I could afford the bag. That afternoon I went out to get a job, and in about two weeks, I got my first check and went out to buy the bag.

I soon found myself buying Nike products that I didn't even need because I thought I needed them at the time. I was spending all of the money I earned at sporting goods stores. My parents finally got fed up with my spending habits and told me that I wasn't allowed to buy any more clothing. I pretended I was alright with their decision and went behind their backs to purchase more clothes. I fought about it for a few weeks until I finally gave up. I was branded by Nike.

I believed that everyone would more easily accept me because of what I wore. I soon realized that people weren't my friends because of what I wore. They were my friends because of who I was. I learned this later on in life. I came to understand that no matter what you wear you are still the same person, if someone doesn't like you, it is your personality not your clothing.

There are many people who don't want to adhere to society's "rules", they are called non-conformist. The most widespread way of fighting viral marketing by not conforming to the general consensus of what or what not to wear. These people fight viral marketing by wearing shirts like "Got Crabs?", which is a play on the "Got Milk?" ad. There are many other ways of being a non-conformist but the most common way is through your clothes.

Now looking back at what I did, I realize how ridiculous it was. Today, I am the complete opposite of what I use to be. I now wear the clothing I like and it doesn't have to be a particular brand name. It is very easy to get caught up in activities that you consider to be "cool." Many people wear brand name clothing to feel like they belong to a certain group. I believe that this happens throughout the whole world, no matter your social class. In the business world people wear certain clothing to show how successful they are. There are some people who belong to gangs and only wear certain colors. Branding your self is a very common way of showing what group you belong to.