When you work on Nike you have one distinct advantage over the poor
bugger who’s trying to flog a pot of Muller Rice. Sport is a subject the
target audience feels passionate about.
I was working with Giles Montgomery (now at Wieden and Kennedy,
Amsterdam). The idea was ‘to put Nike, through its association with Eric
Cantona, at the centre of football culture’.
The ad managed to capture something of Cantona’s attitude and audacity,
by mentioning a Frenchman in the same sentence as the most sacred moment
in the history of English football.
Not since John McEnroe has there been such an excellent sportsman whose
on-field presence and attitude expresses the sentiment ‘I’m playing the
game on my own terms - not anyone else’s’ - the embodiment of the spirit
of the individual ‘just do it’.
All credit to Nike for sponsoring him.
We thought about how we could use the ad in other media. We cut a couple
of inches off each end of the mech and got lucky at the Campaign Press
Then Peter Bracegirdle, an account man on Nike, had the idea of turning
the poster into a flag and was greeted by rapturous indifference.
He then explained how the 40ft x 20ft flag would then be smuggled into
Old Trafford and unfurled by the crowd. An instant 90-minute TV
commercial. Several weeks and one bribed turnstile operator later the
flag appeared on News at Ten. We’ve never been able to get the flag back
from the United fans.
As an agency we marketed the poster to prospective clients in the form
of a postcard and have continued to do this with work we’re particularly
Andy McKay is joint creative director at Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson