Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson has tried to create a visual
representation of a marathon runner’s extreme emotions in a new series
of posters for Nike.
The posters, with their bright cartoon illustrations, use hallucinogenic
imagery in an attempt to show the ’runner’s high’ that runners
experience from the endorphins released inside the brain during a
One execution, ’feet on the ground, mind in the stratosphere’, shows a
runner with his hair flying behind him and a bright ’magic eye’ attached
to his brain by a cord.
A second says: ’run - your spirit can walk the earth after you die.’
Another ad provides the exhortation: ’Run now. You could be reincarnated
as a slug,’ and pictures a runner, with limbs flailing, surrounded by a
bright golden halo, against a mountain backdrop. In the sky above him is
a cartoon slug, also surrounded by light.
All three posters, which go up next week, use the ’do running’ tagline
which appears on the TV commercials, encouraging Nike’s audience to live
for the moment.
The ads were written by Ros Sinclair and art directed by Sean
The illustrations are by Peter Loveday.
Manning Gottlieb Media, which handles media on the Nike account in the
UK, has bought up most of the six-sheet sites along the course of the
London Marathon, which takes place on 13 April. The six-sheet posters
will go up from 8 April, preceded by a number of 96-sheet posters that
appear on 1 April.
Simons Palmer claims the posters are a departure from the established
perception of running, which is all about training, routine, endurance
and pain. Robert Senior, the director of client services at Simons
Palmer, said: ’The ads demonstrate that Nike understands why runners get
addicted to their sport.’