Nike Says “For Once, Don’t Do It”

Brands often have to tread lightly when talking about social issues, because it’s easy for them to come across as ham-handed. But I think Nike does an excellent job here in this stark spot about racism, which solely consists of text over a black background and a spare piano track. It pretty clearly was created in response to the murder of George Floyd, but its message resonates at any time. Here’s more about it from Adweek.

Nike And LeBron James Say We’re Never Too Far Down To Come Back

If you’re looking for inspirational ads that aren’t corny, Nike never disappoints. Their newest spot is narrated by LeBron James and features many situations in sports where teams and individuals were down on the ropes, but came back dramatically. The “coming back from the impossible” narrative is set up as a parallel to coming back from the coronavirus pandemic. This one has caught fire online, racking up over 5 million views just since being released earlier today. And bonus points go to the fact that the closed playground shown is a mere 10 minute walk from where I live. Excellent work from Nike and Wieden+Kennedy Portland.

Nike’s Lovely “Mamba Forever” Tribute To Kobe Bryant

If you were wondering when Nike would do a tribute to Kobe Bryant, it debuted today during the memorial for him and his daughter Gianna. It’s a simple and lovely video with no videos or images…just text and audio over a black background. Mamba Forever!

The U.S. Women Win The World Cup! Here Is Nike’s Celebratory Commercial

Nike always anticipates the big events in sports, and makes their ads ahead of time so they can be shown just after the big win. Their “Never Stop Winning” commercial debuted at the finish the the U.S. Women’s World Cup victory, and it’s garnered more than a million views in just over 5 hours. Expect a whole lot more views in the hours and days to come. As usual with Nike, it’s a stirring, inspirational spot…buoyed by the “I believe that we will win!” chant. But it goes further than soccer, touching on the impact the team hopes to have on girls and the world. Good stuff from Nike.

Nike’s New Tiger Woods Commercial

I really like how Nike anticipates every big moment in sports and makes their ads ahead of time, so they’re fresh and cathartic after the event. Anyway, Tiger Woods just won the Masters in a transcendent comeback story, so here is Nike’s spot. Good stuff.

Nike’s “Dream Crazy” Ad, Featuring Colin Kaepernick

On Monday, Nike received praise and (stupid) outrage for unveiling a new ad campaign starring Colin Kaepernick. Now, it’s released the first ad, which will debut during tomorrow night’s NFL opener. “Dream Crazy” is an inspirational 2-minute spot, with a voiceover from Kaepernick urging people to strive hard for their goals: “Calling a dream crazy is not an insult…it’s a compliment.” The spot includes famous athletes like LeBron James and Serena Williams, along with lesser-known ones such as skater Lacey Baker and young wrestler Isaiah Bird. But Kaep is the headliner here, and he’ll get most of the attention. His last words in this ad are especially powerful…”So don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they’re crazy enough.” Wow. Good stuff, Nike.

Chase, Serena Williams, And “Mama Said Knock You Out”

Tonight, Serena Williams will make her return to the US Open. This comes a year after facing life-threatening complications while giving birth to her first child, Alexis. But don’t call it a comeback. This Chase ad is rousing, and features both Alexis and a voiceover with the lyrics of LL Cool J’s classic “Mama Said Knock You Out.” It’s the second recent high-profile spot Serena’s done for Chase (no, I don’t know where to get that necklace to answer some of that post’s comments). Nike also released a new Serena Williams commercial today, alternating between footage of her training as a child with her father and highlights of her as a tennis pro. Nice work from both Chase and Nike.

Nike: Kevin Durant Wins A Championship, And Silences His Critics

Kevin Durant has always been a favorite of mine, going back to his lone year at the University of Texas. And now, he has a ring (and a Finals MVP to go along with it). While I would have much rather preferred him to win it in Oklahoma City, it’s still cool that he now has a championship. Nike’s post-NBA Finals commercial shows all his critics…first he’s derided as soft and defensively-challenged, then when he moved to the Golden State Warriors, people called him a traitor. But now, he’s a champion, and the critics are silenced. It’s a pretty cool ad, supplemented by Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.”

Cubs Win! Here’s The Nike Commercial

Well, the Chicago Cubs finally did it. They won their first World Series since 1908, after an amazing Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians. No, this isn’t a video game fantasy. And here is Nike’s celebratory commercial. If you’re wondering, the song is “Funny How Time Slips Away” by Willie Nelson. Beautiful work.


Nike Introduces 86 Year Old Sister Madonna Buder…The Iron Nun

In its new spot “Unlimited Youth”, Nike shows us Sister Madonna Buder, the Iron Nun. She’s 86, and has completed 45 Ironman Triathlons. We see her competing in her 46th. And now I feel inadequate…

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