Superimpose’s Ollie Olanipekun creates dystopian campaign for Cat Footwear

Taking London's constant evolution as a starting point, the campaign was also inspired by the footwear giant's narrative 90s ads.

24 April 2020

Superimpose founder Ollie Olanipekun has created a campaign for Cat Footwear’s SS20 collection, inspired by London’s dark potential future. Featuring 2D, GIFs and video and themed around Cat’s Dark Shadow Intruder sneaker, Olanipekun’s visuals reference surveillance technology, using heat map imagery and terminal code, to give a particular dystopian view on the capital.

Given a open brief from Cat inspired by the phrase "engineering the future", Olanipekun decided to approach the project with a particular narrative stance. “I’ve always loved the iconic ads from CAT in the late nineties,” Olanipekun tells It’s Nice That. “This was a period when brands went heavy on storytelling and were brave in how they featured products. They put their trust in solid, relatable copy and photography and relied on that as an invitation to explore the product.” For this project Olanipekun wanted to take learnings from that era through into this project, both in terms of the storytelling and the design language. “With the product name being Intruder, I wanted to look forward and not backwards so with that I based the storytelling on a sort of dystopian future.”

Rather than starting the project visually, Olanipekun began by nailing down the emotion behind the campaign and played around with copy that expressed his ideas. He had a whole narration written but then stripped back the idea down to the words “the future is unknown”, he tells us. “When we talk about the future there are infinite unknowns so with these visuals I wanted them to pose questions for the end audience, Olanipekun says. “Who are they? Where are they? What are they selling me? What’s the message? None of these questions are answered directly but the mood allows you to come to your own conclusions.”

Olanipekun then got Innes Evans (aka innes.av) on board to help with the moving image side of the project. Using a mashup of effects, like the heavy use of noise, on top of some stripped back 3D modelling within Cinema 4D, the visuals were then made to react to the track Dulcet by Bambooman. “We included gifs alongside the images which I feel really play on the idea of ‘ unknown' and ‘process', this project should feel like it’s a prequel to the future,” says Olanipekun.

The project has just rolled out online and social media, to coincide with the shoes' launch. The result is an unnerving take on the future of the capital but, given the Met’s decision to install face recognition software across sites in London, perhaps one that’s not too far away.

GalleryOllie Olanipekun: Cat Footwear’s SS20 campaign

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Ollie Olanipekun: Cat Footwear’s SS20 campaign

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About the Author

Laura Snoad

Laura is a London-based arts journalist who has been working for It’s Nice That on a freelance basis since 2016.

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