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/ Denise Gellene

Nike Gets a Kick Out of Being Defiant

April 09, 1998|Denise Gellene

Advertiser: Nike

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam

Challenge: Launch the company's new soccer shoe while touting Nike's sponsorship of the Brazilian soccer team in an ad that is relevant in many countries.

The Ad: When their flight is delayed, members of the Brazilian soccer team remove a ball from their carry-on bag and proceed to pass and kick it through an airport terminal, dodging security guards and other travelers. The impromptu game moves outside to the runway, where players dodge a moving jet and helicopter before heading back into the terminal. Once inside, a Brazilian athlete attempts a goal by kicking the ball through posts. He misses. There is no dialogue or voice-over. Each athlete wears a T-shirt with a big Nike swoosh on it.

Comment: Though the mood of the ad is playful, it nonetheless conveys the defiance typical of Nike ads. The soccer players--heroes to young soccer fans in Latin countries--run from security guards and do dangerous things. That's unfortunate, because a good portion of Nike's potential customers are young people. Created for international markets, but airing in the U.S., the ad doesn't use the much-parodied slogan, "I can." $$

*

Ads are rated from $ to $$$$, based on tastefulness and probable effectiveness, with $$$$ being highest.

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