The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Create Ideas Not Advertising …

Remember when I was about to leave Wieden and I wrote a post about some of the work I had loved being a part of over the past 7 years?

Remember how I said there were some other campaigns I was super excited about but couldn’t talk about them because they hadn’t come out?

No, I didn’t think you would [dicks!] … but the point of this post is one of those campaigns has just launched and I love it.

There’s so many reasons why it warms the cockles of my heart.

It’s fun.

It’s insanely diverse in its execution.

But most of all, an idea rather than an ad idea.

I’ve talked about this for years. For me, the best thing we can do is identify the problem, create a solution and then use comms to tell as many people as possible about this ‘new thing’. Sadly, the majority of advertising still is based on identifying the problem then spending millions of dollars telling everyone about the problem.

But what is ‘this’, I hear you cry. This …

What you’re looking at are plasters [or, now I’m in America, bandaids] for kids.

They were developed by us for NIKE to celebrate Children’s Day.

5 years ago the reason parents didn’t want their kids to play sport is because they wanted them to study their school books. Fortunately that is less of an issue now [but still an issue] but what we discovered is there’s a new barrier and that is that parents worry their kids will get hurt. This is more than just a physical element – it’s tied up to a whole host of complex issues parents are going through, from not wanting to give them the pressure they went through to also wanting to prepare them for the insane competition they will face in life – but what we saw was an opportunity to enable kids to show their parents that sports makes them rather than hurts them.

So we made a product.

A plaster/bandaid.

A plaster/bandaid that actually isn’t about protecting the injuries kids get from playing sport but a badge of honor for playing the sport they love. A badge of honor that lets their parents know they are being awesome for letting their kids compete and that what they get out of it are far more than bumps and bruises.

We made this product.

We developed a whole range – with the cultural context and vernacular of each specific sport embedded into the design.

Then we created advertising with them. About them.

Billboards that you can take the product from.

Films that talk about the beauty of pure play.

Posters that you can collect and use.

Comic books where the images on the plasters form the story. 

And best of all, Nike had them in their stores.

Lots of them.

For kids to have, use and show their parents.

And best of all, it was real. They made tens of thousands of packets of them.

It’s not scam. It’s solving a problem in the most creative of ways.

And even though they waited till I’d left to launch it, I still love it.

Hell, even Forbes loves it. [Though the article is a bit pants]

So to everyone at Wieden Shanghai, especially the guys who were the real instigators of it [I know who you are] not to mention Steve, Andy and PT at NIKE, congratulations, it’s brilliant and I’m so happy and proud of you.

Only took 7 years … hahaha.


I hate to say this, but it’s brilliant and I’m very jealous of it.

Comment by DH

Yep, it’s pretty epic. The creatives behind it were phenomenal and seeing how excited they were just made it even more infectious.

As I’ve said before, you can tell when the work was fun to make.

Comment by Rob

you mean the creatives made you look fucking good again.

Comment by andy@cynic

Good story behind the creation too. Have I really just complimented you?

Comment by DH

Yep. You won’t make that mistake again.

Comment by Rob

So you went from making a moped at cynic to bandages at wieden. What will you do at deutch, a choc chip cookie?

Comment by Billy Whizz

A chocolate chip cookie would arguably still be more innovative than the output of most agencies.

Comment by George

can you planner fuckers get a fucking room.

Comment by andy@cynic

Thanks for your support as usual Billy.

Comment by Rob

What a brilliant idea Robert. Am I right in thinking you tried to get Nike to make a children’s book? Is this a replacement to that? Fantastic idea. Nike, Wieden and China will miss you hugely.

Comment by George

What a phenomenally smart idea. Congratulations Robert.
The Forbes article is not very good but it is quite an achievement to have an article about advertising featured in it. Another feather in your cap.

Comment by Lee Hill

Yes I did. I also tried to get them to set up a different division dedicated to helping parents get over their sports issues. As times changed, so did our approach and I’m thrilled this got made – even more so that it happened when I was there. There’s so much more than can be done, but the success of this means the fuse has been lit and I’m excited to see where things will evolve.

Comment by Rob

fuck you campbell, another thing youve done this week i like. i must be sick as fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

Best way to end my week. Ever.

Comment by Rob

And you can give all your planners a bandaid when you’ve smashed all their dreams. Smart.

Comment by Bazza

`Very good. And much cheaper than using celebrities. And it doesn’t involve virtual ideation – whatever that might be.

Comment by John

Glad you resisted the urge to use long copy?

Comment by John

Those are very cool looking bandaids!

Comment by Opinionated Man

This is fantastic stuff Rob. I love it.

Comment by Wayne Green

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