Last week, international shoe brand Nike celebrated 30-years of its Air Max shoes by teaming up with a group of young New Zealand creatives who it picked to push the envelope of design and showcase what they do best. One of those selected was illustrator Andrew J Steel, who picked up his pen and created some magic for the brand. Elly Strang talks to him about what it’s like to work with a global brand like Nike, and what’s next on the horizon.
What at first starts as a standard celebrity endorsement video for a new product quickly descends into one man’s—completely unhinged—obsession with running in Nike’s new video series, featuring comedian Kevin Hart (and his glorious beard). The series is introduced via a short clip, showing Hart excitedly unboxing the new product. From there, the madness ensues, with Hart putting on his best impersonation of Forrest Gump crossed with the protagonist from Into the Wild.
Nike has been one of the leading proponents of the quantified self trend with its suite of Nike+ products and Fuelband. Now, with the help of AKQA, it’s put some of that data to good use with the Your Year app and has created over 100,000 personalised animated films based on the activities of some of its more active users. And as well as celebrating the athletic achievements of its users, the videos also aim to inspire them to outdo their 2014 accomplishments.
Nike is rightfully renowned as one of the world’s most innovative companies, and its approach to marketing those innovations is similarly creative. The company kicked off in 1964 and it released its first swoosh-enabled shoe in 1971 and since then it has released a huge array of footwear. So, as part of its Genealogy of Innovation campaign, 200 pairs have been brought together in a two minute film that charts “seven, game-changing eras”: Genesis, Reformation, Golden Age, Enlightenment, Rennaissance, Transformation and Revolution.
Andrew Lewis thinks that despite 50 years of research, practice, learning and refinement, we are still pretty rubbish at creating great brands that genuinely connect with people. And he thinks the secret to rectifying this might lie in the teachings of Stanislavski.
Nike isn’t an official Football World Cup sponsor. But when has that ever mattered? Back in 2010, it certainly didn’t stop it from riding on the coattails of the tournament and creating one of the best sporting ads ever made with Write the Future. Now it’s aiming to do the same for the upcoming tournament in Brazil with its Risk Everything campaign.
V’s latest campaign is all about adding some additional excitement to a “fairly mundane” sport. But the powers that be are also trying to enhance the sport’s perception, with a clip for the European Tour showing Rory McIlroy facing against a fast-talking golfing machine—literally—called Geoff and an ad for Nike featuring Tiger Woods that seems to be saying ‘shut up, golf IS a real sport’.
The media landscape has been transformed and fragmented by the power of digital, mobile and social technology. And it’s increasingly difficult to work out a plan to get traction for brands in this new, less certain environment. Contagion’s Tom Bates looks at three areas worthy of focus for modern-day marketers.
Lance Armstrong’s much-publicised interview with Oprah Winfrey made for prime social media fodder, with an array of quips, opinions and parody videos spewing forth following the confessions about his drug use (our favourite: “Hats off to Lance Armstrong. I tried to ride a bike whilst on drugs, hit a kerb and fell off and I wasn’t even going fast in France, just slow in Dunedin”). And, never one to miss an opportunity for a humorous contextual ad, Pak ‘n Save and DraftFCB have quickly climbed aboard the Doprah bandwagon too.
Nike’s ode to greatness, quite possibly the best Olympic video ever made, a male response to the Carefree ad, Coke Zero and Ken Jeong massacre a classic, men throwing things with the other hand, what some believe is a contender for the most disgusting ad ever, cat herding: it is possible, how to capture people’s dreams, a catchy wee Japanese ditty, some pretty cool lettering, 50 Shades of Angela Merkel, what the Fox, 36 things for the ultimate opening ceremony and the Chrome Web Lab.