The ad, by Wieden + Kennedy, has won widespread praise - and good-natured creative envy from the Thinkbox Academy.
"I wish I’d done [it] so much it hurts," said Vicki Maguire, joint chief creative officer at Grey. Laura Jordan Bambach, chief creative officer of Mr President, said the "absolutely phenomenal work encapsulates London, in all its grime and glory, down to a tee.
"It made me feel terribly lucky (and guilty) to be a Londoner and to be getting such treatment. I'm hoping that Nike has plans to explore the rest of this magnificent, messy, disorganised and delightful little island in further executions of some sort. Everyone deserves to feel as proud as I did after view number five (and counting)."
The commercial recognises the truth that many kids in London face unique hardships and a commitment to taking part in organised sport often involves the sort of resilient mindset normally associated only with elite athletes. Its rapid-fire montage, peppered with blink-and-you-miss-them celebrities, including England manager Gareth Southgate, reflects London’s sub-cultures in all their irrepressible wit and energy. The campaign seeks to encourage even more Londoners to embrace savvy, street-wise determination and take part in everything from football (of course) and basketball to rowing and ice hockey.
The ad was directed by Megaforce through Riff Raff.
Second and third in the January/February Thinkboxes awards for TV ad creativity were "Together forever" for Ancestry by Droga5 London and "Global Citizen" for HSBC by JWT. Also shortlisted were "Mum’s birthday" for Cadbury by VCCP and "Get the inside out" for Lloyds Bank by Adam & Eve/DDB.
The Thinkboxes, in association with Campaign, are the only bi-monthly awards that celebrate the UK’s world-beating TV ad creativity, in all its forms. They’re judged by the Thinkbox Academy – 200 advertising and marketing luminaries who have been involved in award-winning creative work for TV.
Look out for the street-level walk-through the making of "Nothing beats a Londoner" in the April issue of Campaign.
Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV. Thinkbox works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV.