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Louis Vuitton Mixes Mos Def & Ali
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Our society loves sports. We tend to idolize those who succeed more in a sport than we could have ever dreamed. One such man was Muhammad Ali. Not only did he have the strength, speed, and endurance to be one of the greatest boxing legends of anyone's time, but his charisma and his stance on social issues made him a journalist's dream. He would spit his game at any microphone near his face. He was primetime before Deion set foot on the field. His story is a captivating one, and one that never gets old to hear.

Ali is not new to AdLand. When we covered George Lois' book, we showed the Esquire cover Lois made that had Ali front and center. Ali captured everything AdLand wanted: a controversial figure, a person who has bigger than life, and a Champion. 

Louis Vuitton decided to add a twist to the latest AdLand worship of The Greatest. In its latest ad, "Dream," done by Ogilvy & Mather Paris, features rapper Mos Def in the middle of the ring quoting some of the most memorable quips of Ali.

Take a look:

Louis Vuitton - Dream from Stuart A. McIntyre on Vimeo.

"I'll drown a pool of water. I'll kill a dead tree. Wait 'til you see Muhammed Ali."

The spot is very well done, and the calligraphy adds a wonderful touch. It is more of a branded spot, and it seems that Louis Vuitton is positioning itself amongst those of legends and the "next" generation (Mos Def has been around on the rap scene for a while, but we love it when he gets attention). This spot is part of Vuitton's "Core Values" campaign.

Wil it be effective? We don't know too many people who would shadowbox in Louis Vuitton, but we've been wrong before. But more than that, Vuitton is showing its audience that it recognizes and respects the legends that have come before us. And Mos Def, an icon in the underground rap scene, is a huge grab for Vuitton. It will be interesting to see how O&M Paris follows up with this.  

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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