Liv Griffiths – Content Executive
The latest advertising campaign from sport and street wear brand Nike has attracted masses of attention on social media. Considering the target audience, this is arguably the exact response intended by its creators –agency giant, Wieden + Kennedy.
But just why is the ad so popular? Here’s a few things our team loved about ‘Nothing Beats a Londoner’, and maybe the points that are not so great.
It celebrates the young athletes of London
Where we’ve become accustomed to campaigns from big brands focusing on a global market, the latest from Nike appeals to a very specific target audience.
The three-minute video celebrates the young athletes of London and how they compete to thrive in the concrete world around them. And although a big budget may have been involved, the ad is clearly made by the people in it.
It’s wonderfully diverse and it takes risks, too. Areas of London are spotlighted, then the focus is turned on its head by residents such as grime artist Giggs reciting quotable lines like “What’s wrong with Peckham?”
Nike chose a familiar backdrop and an authentic culture that Londoners will easily recognise, all in an attempt to encourage people to get involved in sports in their community – dressed head to toe in Nike, of course.
Seamless celebrity cameos
Celebrity appearances in advertising certainly isn’t a new concept, but this campaign has integrated famous faces so subtly, it’s hard to spot them if you’re not already a fan.
Nike has picked people who are not only relevant to the brand, but appeal to their British youth market – from well-established, household names such as Mo Farrah and Sadiq Khan to mockumentary DJs, Kurupt FM.
While mainstream headlines about London might only highlight the crime and other negative aspects surrounding the city’s youth, Nike is focusing on the London-natives who have achieved something for youths to aspire to.
A week after the ad was posted, it had gained a massive 4.6 million views on YouTube. It’s also been widely retweeted, pinned, and liked all over the country.
While the online success of the ad is definitely down to the creative content and humorous storyline, the format helps too.
It’s perfectly sized for watching on handheld devices, aligning with modern user habits. The ad even features some celebs watching the ad on their mobiles. #adception
It’s a design choice that makes the ad super shareable on social media. Real life Londoners have been encouraged to tag each other in posts and challenge their friends’ sporting ability.
Our Animation and Video Specialist, Stejay, thinks the ad is great to look at, and although he didn’t recognise many of the famous faces, this aspect meant he still enjoyed watching it.
The smooth transitions between each story, as well as the creative jump-editing, means viewers are kept engaged and interested throughout the whole video.
The humour goes a long way too, as well as the artistic references to social media apps, specifically the tears sprouting from the eyes of Michael Dapaah – reminiscent of a Snapchat filter.
Is Nike excluding a bigger market?
Despite all the positive buzz around the campaign, there’s concerns Nike might be excluding a wider market.
Marketing Week’s Mark Ritson asks if “a marketing strategy so intent on targeting London should do so in such an overt and explicit manner.” He highlights the risks of focusing on such a specific group, and how the rest of the UK will feel about the campaign.
Does the success of the campaign lie solely on the assumption that those outside the capital city are so desperate to become included, they’ll wear Nike sportswear to feel like part of the club?
Our Digital Marketing Executive, Tom, doesn’t think so. “The campaign is a showcase of how the brand caters for multiple market segments, from fashion to functionality.”
“Although the ad is based around London as a geographic location, the diversity of those featured is representative of the whole of the U.K. It shows ‘consumers’ from a range of economic backgrounds – all under the Nike umbrella. Seeing the cultural varieties within our capital made me proud, even though I’m from a small village in the north.”
Check the full ad out here to see who you agree with. We’re rooting for Tom.