Our Nike team was over in Amsterdam this week for meetings, presentations, bonding, etc.
Here they line up to prepare for a 'football golf' event. (No, I'm not sure what that is, either.)
Whether through misdirection, deceptive movement or razor-sharp instinct, football strikers need to be one step ahead of their opponents.
To truly experience this deceptive nature, you have to see how a player thinks. So in our latest campaign for Nike, centred around the new Hypervenom boot, we explore what goes on inside the minds of some of the world’s deadliest strikers.
Working with animation company Buck, we created a series of films and illustrations for the likes of Neymar Jr, Lewandowski, and Kane, each based on an insight true to the player's attacking style.
Our film for Lewandowski is focused on how his game is built around predatory instinct and masterful finishing. His awareness enables him to sniff incredible goals out of nowhere.
What marks Harry Kane out is his ability to create chances for himself. He doesn’t have to wait for the ball to come to him, he makes it happen on his own.
There's no one like Neymar Jr. Famed for his ability to deceive and torment defenders, once he has plotted his path to goal, there is no stopping him.
Featuring mind-bending transitions and non-stop action, Buck created a surreal Hypervenom world comprised of fluorescent colour and masterfully simple line work.
We spoke with Tom, creative director at Buck, about their process:
“When our creative team first sat down to envision the project in our heads, we all kept going back to the original 80's Thundercats intro as a paragon of heroic action and a really creative approach to camera and sets. In addition, one of the principal tenets of this Hypervenom state was to establish the visions inside each athlete's head as a surreal dimension where we could exaggerate images and twist the rules to make the world odder and more ethereal. This is why we gravitated to 2D: it allows you to experiment with characters and imagery in a way that other media have a tough time doing.”
Along with these three animated shorts, we created an unusual, surreal world of images that show how Hypervenom strikers see the game differently.
The campaign is currently running across twelve featured athletes' Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, so keep an eye out.
As has recently been much reported (not that it was new news) the Nike strapline 'Just Do it' was inspired by the last words of American murderer Gary Gilmore before he was executed by firing squad in 1977.
The line 'Just Do it' first appeared on this 1988 ad:
I recently noticed that Gilmore's last words also apparently inspired the opening of the Human League's classic first single Being Boiled. Phil Oakey intones, "Okay, ready, let's do it" before that awesomely awkward electro-riff kicks in.
So there you have it. Gary Gilmore: the connection between Sheffield synth-punk and Nike. (As yet, no mention of voice of Buddha or sericulture detected in Nike comms.)
Some of us are a little tired today, following last night's British Arrows ceremony, at which Honda The Other Side, Lurpak Cook's Range and Three Sing It Kitty were honoured with some lovely arrow-shaped metal.
Our host was the one and only David Mitchell.
The Other Side picked up Commercial of the Year, as well as two golds for Interactive Web-Based Commercial and Best over 90" Web-Based Film, Cook's Range picked up triple gold for Best 30"-60" TV, Best 60"-90" Cinema and Dairy, and Three Sing It Kitty went home with a bronze for Telecommunications.
Our very own Andrew Bevan won (one half of) Best Creative Team and a silver for Charity for his Violence is Violence campaign for Mankind.
And W+K Portland nabbed gold for Sportswear and silver for Best Over 90" Commercial using paid-for media for Nike The Last Game.
And we managed to bring back the pointy bits of metal back to the agency in one piece this morning.
Peruse the full list of winners here. Congratulations to all involved!
The Guardian ran a feature this week titled "From Nike to Benetton: 10 powerful adverts that changed the way we think," featuring two shiny W+K nuggets from the archives.
First on the list was W+K Portland's Nike 'If You Let Me Play'. 72andSunny Amsterdam MD Nic Owen & co said, "This film is a mini masterpiece which tackles a big issue in a very elegant way, with swagger and irony. The film has been often 'quoted' in other work and even 'remade' recently. But this is the real thing, which opened the way for many conversations about women and sport. It also changed the way sports brands address women in their advertising."
And sixth was our Honda 'Grr' ad, of which they said, "The interesting thing about this film – apart from being beautiful – is that it managed to speak in a fun, charming way about one of the major issues of our time. It made people smile and think about the impact they have on the environment. This campaign opened the way for other car companies to put eco-consciousness at the heart of their communication and vision."
Champions League-winning, Balon d’Or polishing, record-breaking, all-round footballing megastar Cristiano Ronaldo stars in our new campaign for Nike Football.
The campaign marks the launch of Ronaldo’s new boot, the Mercurial Superfly CR7, made from Nike’s innovative flywire material and built for explosive speed. And when the fastest boot comes together with the most phenomenal player on Earth, the results are truly ‘Out of this World’.
Launching in the build-up to his appearance in El Clasico on Saturday night, a motion book story portrays Ronaldo as the hero who discovers the new Mercurial Superfly CR7 has crash-landed on earth in a meteorite. When he arrives at the scene and dons the boots, he gains explosive powers.
He shoots around the world at supersonic speed. He beats fighter jets for pace, breaks cops’ speed guns, plays matches in several global locations and even trains at extreme altitude on a snowy mountain before zooming back to Madrid, all in preparation for the epic clash with Barcelona.
The spot fuses live-action with animation to reinvent the comic book genre for Nike’s core audience of digital-native, mobile-first football fans. Just like with the biggest superhero movies, we teased the film with mini trailer across Nike and Ronaldo’s social channels on Thursday to generate intrigue and excitement.
After viewing the teaser, fans were directed to the Nike Football app as the exclusive place to watch the full film, and of course, order themselves a pair of boots.
In addition to the online film, we also revealed a giant meteorite-landing site in a busy square in Madrid to bring our digital story crashing into the real world.
Read more about the Mercurial Superfly CR7 here.
Five W+K runners headed out to Paris last weekend, to compete in Nike's 10km race.
The night prior to the race saw the sort of flawless professionalism you'd expect: a bottle of red per head and steak tartares all round. Classic pre-race fuel.