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Shoe ad featuring local Canadians debuts up north

Staff writer

A troop of local Canada residents recently appeared in an international shoe commercial titled “We’re not in Canada Anymore.”

In August, a Canadian film crew from Toronto traveled to the small rural community of Canada, Kansas, to shoot a promo for the New Balance 574 Woods Pack sneaker line by enlisting local help.

The Canadian ad crew gave a free pair of the shoes to each resident and asked them to perform everyday activities while wearing the shoes.

Zeth Thornhill appeared in the ad, and for him, it was a unique experience.

“It’s neat to see yourself outside of your daily life,” Thornhill said. “Not to mention knowing that thousands, well, hundreds of thousands of people will see you in the video.”

In the ad, Thornhill tells the camera, “It’s pretty neat that you know nobody is going to be able to get these except for us Canadians,” tacking on the Canadian characteristic phrase of “Eh?” at the end of his comment.

“You kind of get put on the spot and have to think of something off the top of your head,” he said. “People at work and in the community have been giving me a hard time, so I guess I said something funny.”

He related his use of the Canadian “Eh?” to how Kansans typically hear people from out-of-state make comments about “The Wizard of Oz.”

Caroline Kelly also appeared in the ad alongside family members Justin Barr and Garry Klose. They watched it together after the promo was released.

“Boy that was just so much fun,” she said. “After we saw the finished product we all were just so giddy.

“People still come up to us and look down to see if we are wearing our shoes.”

There were only 1,000 Woods Pack shoes made. They are only available only in Canada, so Kelly and other local Canadians have seem to have something of a rarity laced upon their feet.

In the ad, Kelly said, “We’re sneakerheads now, you’re right, we’re sneakerheads now,” when responding to a question from the film crew.

“I had never heard of the term sneakerheads before,” she said. “A guy with the media agency told us sneakerheads are people who collect and trade sneakers like trading cards.”

Kelly confirmed that she was only a sneakerhead on screen.

“I just like wearing my new shoes,” Kelly said. “I wear them all the time.”

However, Thornhill may have sneakerhead tendencies.

He doesn’t keep his shoes in a glass case or a have them on display, but he stowed them away, saving them as a memento.

“I haven’t worn the shoes since we filmed the video,” Thornhill said. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The video can be viewed on YouTube or the New Balance Canada website.

Last modified Oct. 8, 2015

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