Nike is to unveil its biggest press campaign across Europe next week.
The campaign, which was devised by Wieden and Kennedy in Amsterdam to
run only in vertical press executions, is the first to omit the Nike
name and simply use its trademark tick.
In a further departure, the ten executions shun the use of sports stars
dressed in Nike clothes and concentrate solely on the product itself.
The ‘product leadership’ ads, which break in the UK on 17 February, will
appear in style magazines ranging from Loaded to Vogue and in the review
sections and magazines of quality national newspapers.
Written by Giles Montgomery and art directed by Robert Nataka, each
execution focuses on the specific features of a particular sports shoe
and carries a different, provocative strapline in typical Nike fashion.
One ad, for the tennis shoes worn by Andre Agassi, declares: ‘Some
people take tennis too seriously. We make shoes for them.’ Another, for
the Air Max Light running shoe, states: ‘Before Nike, people walked.’
A third execution, for the Zoom Super Light running spikes, reads:
‘Designed so you can’t walk in them.’
The words and pictures appear in stylised colour against a plain white
background. Photography was by Hans Pieterse.
‘We wanted [the ads] to be the next best thing to actually holding the
shoe in your hand,’ Montgomery said.
The campaign will run in seven countries across Europe. UK media is
handled by Manning Gottlieb Media.
Wieden and Kennedy has managed the Nike account since the brand’s launch
in 1982, apart from a three-year gap in the mid-80s when the account was
with Chiat Day.
The agency recently opened new offices in Paris, Barcelona and Milan in
order to service its flagship account more effectively.