Nike - Alternate Sport Commerical

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by MikeH, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. MikeH

    MikeH Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone else catch this Nike ad? I love it.

    For those who haven't it shows current athletes competing in sports other than their speciality.

    Randy Johnson - bowling
    Marion Jones - gymnastics
    Serena Williams - beach volleyball
    Andre Agassi - Red Sox shortstop
    Brian Urlacher & Michael Vick - Colorado Avalanche
    Lance Armstrong - boxing

    Armstrong looked the most realistic but my favorite is Urlacher
    just because I can imagine how much it would hurt to get hammered by him.

    Mike
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Loved the height differential on display between the Big Unit and the other PBA bowler.
     
  3. JamieD

    JamieD Supporting Actor

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    Not a big fan of these "digital fakery" style of commercials which seem to have come into vogue in recent years.

    You want to show Brian Urlacher and Michael Vick playing great hockey, then do it, don't fake it.
     
  4. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I've seen the Lance one posted on a cycling forum, it does look really good, I got a chuckle out of it at least. I don't think I would want to be in his shoes though in that picture.

    My favorite Armstrong commercial is the one for ESPN when they have some ESPN guy working late night and the light goes out. Then he goes to a trailer, opens the door and sees Lance on a trainer powering the site and asks him if he needs a power bar or something to that effect. [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  5. Tim Beebe

    Tim Beebe Stunt Coordinator

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    The commercial looks more and more fake everytime I see it. [​IMG] Especially the Marion Jones part.
     
  6. Marc_Savoie

    Marc_Savoie Stunt Coordinator

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    Nike claims most of the athlete's did indeed perform the stunts. From a NYTimes article:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A Different Campaign for Nike
    By Stuart Elliott
    Published: February 24, 2004

    More than a decade ago, Nike delighted fans of sports - and advertising - with a tongue-in-cheek campaign, "Bo knows," that showed the baseball and football player Bo Jackson trying his hand at everything from golf to tennis to guitar.

    Now Nike hopes it knows how to make lightning strike twice, by introducing a campaign tomorrow featuring seven athletes switching sports.

    The campaign, by the longtime Nike agency Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore., which also created the "Bo knows" ads, carries the theme "What if?" The commercials, in lengths of 15, 60 and 90 seconds, offer these unlikely crossovers by Nike endorsers: the tennis star Andre Agassi playing baseball for the Boston Red Sox; the cyclist Lance Armstrong boxing; the pitcher Randy Johnson as a professional bowler; the runner Marion Jones as a gymnast; the football players Brian Urlacher and Michael Vick as hockey teammates; and the tennis star Serena Williams playing beach volleyball.

    "The basic premise for 'What if?' is what they all have in common other than hard training and dedication," said Nancy Monsarrat, United States advertising director at Nike in Beaverton, Ore. "It's the will to win."

    "We asked how we can make that a bigger story," she added, "and we can make it bigger when we show it in multiple ways."

    The campaign, which is to run six weeks on television and the Nike Web site, Nike.com, is indicative of the growing interest among advertisers in using several celebrities for a single campaign rather than pinning their hopes on a solo pitch star.

    Among the brands teaming up familiar faces in addition to Nike are Gap, with commercials and print ads for holiday 2003 that featured actors and models like Jamie Lee Curtis, Trent Ford, Katie Holmes and Claudia Schiffer; Gatorade, with a commercial in production that will bring together the athletes Vince Carter, Jason Kidd, Lisa Leslie, Peyton Manning and Yao Ming, as a sequel to a similar spot last year; and Lipton Sizzle & Stir boxed dinners, with commercials presenting celebrities as fanciful families like Loni Anderson, George Hamilton, Mary Lou Retton and Mr. T or Little Richard, Pat Morita, Sally Jesse Raphael and Chuck Woolery.

    "For large companies such as Nike, Gap and Levi's, it's not enough to have one face, one entity represent your brand," said Trey Laird, president and executive creative director at Laird & Partners in New York, the celebrity wrangler for the Gap division of Gap Inc.

    "Because you're speaking to lots of people with different backgrounds," he added, "different celebrities, with totally different styles, can appeal to a mix of ages and personalities."

    At the same time, Mr. Laird warned, such campaigns can run big risks.

    "It has to be about finding the balance," Mr. Laird said. "You're walking a fine line between having a clear image or point of view of what a brand stands for and at the same time reaching out to a lot of people who may be inspired by different faces, different personalities."

    In Nike's case, Mr. Laird said, the company has in the past been able to "beautifully integrate its casting" by "picking sports celebrities who embody the brand spirit of what Nike does."

    Examples range from a commercial pairing Mr. Agassi and Pete Sampras, in which they played tennis on a city street, to the "Bo knows" campaign, which included a chorus of Nike athletes like Kirk Gibson, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and John McEnroe along with the guitarist Bo Diddley.

    "I didn't even think about 'Bo knows' " in creating the "What if?" campaign, Ms. Monsarrat said, adding that the inspiration was some bemused discussion, so typical among sports fans, along the lines of "what if Tiger Woods's father had handed him a baseball bat" rather than a golf club or what if "when Lance Armstrong was 3 years old his mother handed him a pair of boxing gloves instead of a bike."

    While Mr. Woods was not available for the campaign, Mr. Armstrong was; one reason for the campaign is to help introduce a shoe, the Zoom Vapor Trainer, that he will wear, along with a shoe, the Air Vapor Control, for Ms. Jones.

    Mr. Armstrong proved a quick study in the ring, said Mike Byrne, creative director at Wieden & Kennedy, adding that "he and a boxing trainer from Los Angeles went off for an hour and he comes back throwing jabs and hooks and uppercuts."

    The other athletes also actually performed the feats they are shown mastering in the commercials, he added, though in some instances special effects were used to enhance the story-telling. For instance, the scenes with Mr. Agassi in a Red Sox uniform, rapping out a base hit to left field at Fenway Park, were shot at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, with the Fenway features like the Green Monster wall added in postproduction.

    There are also realistic touches to add verisimilitude. For example, Mr. Agassi is shown along with the real Red Sox catcher, Jason Varitek, and the voice of Bart Connor, the Olympic star turned announcer, is heard in the segments depicting Ms. Jones as a gymnast.

    The campaign will get a big kickoff tomorrow with appearances of the 90-second version of the commercial once an hour from 8 p.m. through the late evening on shows on broadcast and cable networks like ESPN, Fox, MTV, UPN and VH1. The 90-second spot is to run through Saturday, when the 15- and 60-second versions will begin.

    Nike and Wieden & Kennedy hope the campaign will receive additional exposure by generating chat among sports fans about who they would like to see in the commercials.

    How about Derek Jeter playing soccer? Mr. McEnroe playing golf? Mr. Woods playing tennis? Mr. Jordan playing baseball?

    Never mind on that last one; been there, done - or not done - that.
     
  7. Jeff*S*C*

    Jeff*S*C* Second Unit

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    Just saw the ad here. Pretty cool.
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I saw this ad last night -- it didn't do much for me. I am impressed by it technically but it didn't resonate emotionally with me. The athletes don't have the cachet of Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. And this spot didn't reveal any character or personality to me. I just saw grainy video of people I vaguely recognize playing random sports. But since these are all supposed to be star athletes, I would assume they are good at other sports anyway. I didn't feel like I watching unusual or impressive events.

    In contrast, the "Bo Knows" comercials were silly and showed a lot of personality. They were clearly over the top showing Bo even doing marching band.

    And I've found other Nike commercials more moving. But I doubt I'm in Nike's target audience. I don't follow sports and haven't bought Nike-brand shoes in maybe 10 years.

    I can see why others would really like this ad, but it doesn't do much for me, besides be impressed and frightened by its technical prowess.

    By the way, who is Randy Johnson? He looks like a bowler [​IMG] so I didn't know what the twist was for him.
     
  9. Marc_Savoie

    Marc_Savoie Stunt Coordinator

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    The twist was that he's actually a near 7-foot tall baseball pitcher.
     
  10. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    You mean "former Seattle Mariner, present-day Arizona Diamondback, 5 time Cy Young Award winner, 9 time All Star, 2001 World Series MVP pitcher Randy Johnson" don't you? [​IMG]

    Personally I love the commercial (as I do most ESPN commercials) and hope they do more. I'd like to see David Wells slam dunk a basketball, Anna Kournikova catch a touchdown pass, and Ray Lewis do a high dive.
     
  11. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    Nomar's better and so is his wife. [​IMG]
     

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