Sonic 4: Episode II taught me a lot of things: the power of teamwork and friendship. The soft bigotry of low expectations. The fact that WHITE CASTLE! SYLVANIA PARK! jokes never get old. But is this spiritual successor to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 a Hidden Palace or just lost somewhere in the courtyard?
It’s one of those promotions that seem incredibly simple: Sonic the Hedgehog, a character with distinctive shoes, and Nike, one of the biggest shoe companies in the entire world, teaming up for cross-brand promotion. For one reason or another, it’s never happened…that is, until today. Well, technically yesterday but y’know how these things go.
The focus of Nike’s latest campaign is their line of Vapor footwear, its newest styles being showcased by some of Soccer’s biggest stars on Youtube. That’s all fine and dandy, but what does that have to do with Sonic, you ask? Well, the version of the video right on their profile has been filled with secret links to send you off on side quests to put you in a Vapor-buying mood. If you go straight to their YouTube page and go scroll about two-thirds of the way in their embedded video (about 1:55 if you want to compare with this video here), you’ll see in the stadium some ads for Nike. Click on one, and you will be sent to a flash-gaming diversion, staring none other than Sonic himself, edited to now be wearing Vaporwear.
For those who might not know, Sega and Nike were supposed to do a promotional deal back in 1994 – Knuckles’ distinctive white swoosh was meant to resemble the Nike logo in a slew of cross-promotion that fell through. As for the game, it plays almost exactly the same as Sonic the Sketchhog, with one new addition: you can now kick soccer balls through Crabmeats. Whoa Nelly!
[Source: Nike’s YouTube Page. Also, thanks to Zero-Boom for taking the screenshots.]