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

The Beauty Of Madness …

Last week, Nike dropped an ad.

A 3+ minute ad.


Well yes they are because it’s the most magical 3+ minute ad you will see in a long, long time.

I know you might say I’m biased because [1] it’s Nike [2] it’s by Wieden and [3] my beloved ex-collegue, Paula Bloodworth, worked on it … but I’m not saying it for those reasons, I’m saying it because it’s sheer gloriousness.


You watch it and you are sucked in. You’re smiling, laughing, nodding, relating.

Whether it’s how outsiders see different parts of London to the madness some young athletes have to go through to be noticed.

There’s so much to love about it … though I have to say my favorite parts are definitely the female footballer, the ice-hockey player and the guy at the end on the bike who swipes the ball away.

Brilliant casting, writing, everything.

An ad that shows how great advertising can be when it’s injected with madness, authenticity and originality. Not to mention fun. Not in terms of what the ad is – though it’s full of that – but in terms of feeling how much fun everyone had making it.

An ad that not only shows the elasticity of NIKE’s brand voice, but their ability to be culturally authentic while staying true to who the brand actually is.

Right there is why Wieden is so fucking good.

It’s not just that they’ve made an ad people around the World will love – even if they won’t understand it all – it’s that they’ve made an ad that people in London will truly get.

An ad that is for them.

About them.

Bursting with all the swagger, humour and contrast that makes that city what it is.

I’m sure they knew they had something special at the very beginning but when it started actually coming together, they must have got super excited.

And nervous.

I remember going through all those emotions when we were creating Blackcurrant Tango.

But as I’ve said before, the best feeling in adland is when you think a piece of your work is going to be either amazing or a disaster

Nothing in-between.

Because it means whatever happens, it’s going to make a statement.

And this ad does.

Without doubt it is my favorite NIKE spot in a while [acknowledging a huge amount of them of late have been extra good] and I’m so happy for all my friends who were a part of it.

In fact the only thing wrong is when they say ‘Nothing Beats A Londoner’ when we all know a Nottinghamer can.


25 Comments so far
Leave a comment

not sure it has much originality but its fucking great for all the reasons you say. and you know how agreeing with you makes me fucking sick.

Comment by andy@cynic

But an overdose of authenticity and crazy.

Comment by DH

You’ve become Mr Dodds, Andy.

Comment by Rob

how the fuck are you not mentioning cryboy. thats comedy gold right there. think the creatives just made an ad they modelled on tony davidsons insane personality and genius madness. nailed it.

Comment by andy@cynic

I know … I know … and I like cry boy, but I just like some of the other bits better. That’s not a crime you know. But I do agree that the ad could all be in the spirit of Tony Davidson – which is probably the best compliment to him I could ever imagine.

Comment by Rob

youre just a planner who doesnt know what the fuck hes talking about. except davidson.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s not just the best nike ad I’ve seen in ages but also the best London tourism ad.

Comment by DH

Yep … good point.

Comment by Rob

Just brilliant. And while you weren’t comparing it to Blacurrant Tango, I do see similarities thanks to its English eccentricity. Well done Paula and team.

Comment by George

Wow that’s good.

Comment by Pete

It’s wonderful.

Comment by Marcus Brown

Love it. Fun, edgy, cool. At first blush it reminded me of one my favorite Monty Python sketches. “Four Yorkshiremen”. “You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank.” etc.

Comment by theodoretimbuctootwo

I have watched it multiple times already. A fantastic piece of film.

Comment by Lee Hill

Guy on bike = skepta..

Comment by Niko

Campbell only recognizes Brian May.

Comment by Billy Whizz

As I posted it on this blog an hour after it went up, you’ll know I love it. But, as the days have passed, the absence of non-posh white people has niggled at me, not least because it unnecessarily gave ammunition to the racist commenters who came out from under their rocks.

Comment by John

Fair … but you know all the people in the ad were chosen specifically for their connection to sport and local culture, so while I know they’ll be some ‘none-posh’ White folk out there, it’s still a trillion times more authentic than most ads out there.

Christ, it’s like I’m still on Wieden’s payroll with all this love. Mind you, I do owe them for the 7 years they let me bugger them about I suppose.

Comment by Rob

Just watched it again. You’re right Robert, you can tell they had a blast making it because you don’t get that spirit in work when it was a battle.

Comment by George

great write up. I agree with your points wholeheartedly. its such an infectious watch. the cherry for me (that people appear to not be talking about) is that it’s for a london-wide half-term nike sponsored barrage of events for kids – lovely.

not sure about the non-posh white comment. school kid, hockey player, thames swimmer and the ‘Bikelife’ kid don’t look posh to me – maybe I’m too posh?

ohyeah and ‘guy on bike’ is Skepta, and ‘cryboy’ is Big Shaq. theres a list of all those featured knocking about – part of the fun spotting them (which adidas did with originals a while back).

Comment by Stuart

Can’t stop watching it. Love it …..and London.

Comment by Ida

[…] teams need to work in an atmosphere of toxicity or aggression – far from it, you generally feel the joy the teams have had making great work – but it does mean the tough conversations have to be had openly and early to not just ensure […]

Pingback by Saying What Everyone Wants To Hear Will Catch You Out In The End … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] course there has been some great advertising, but in terms of solving problems in magical ways, the design industry seems to be more progressive […]

Pingback by The Difference Between Design And Creativity … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] More than people know – and they already know she will be brilliant. […]

Pingback by That Was The Year That Was … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] as I wrote before, great work leaves scars and while that doesn’t mean it can’t be an exciting journey to be going on, it will have many twists and […]

Pingback by Art Writes New Rules … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] very fortunate I’ve had a few people in my life, but one of them is the brilliant Paula Bloodworth … who I first had the privilege of working with at Wieden+Kennedy […]

Pingback by Happiness Isn’t Perfect … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Leave a Reply