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We all know Nike for it’s punchy, full-bore advertising. From Write the Future to ‘No Excuses’ and the (literally) hundreds of others, everyone has a favourite, where it gets the hairs on the back of your neck up. So it was rather surprising to find this running ad buck the trend so completely. On the one hand, this is a very well executed ‘ad’ (at 2.30, it feels more than a little flabby), on the other this feels so unlike Nike. Sure it has great production values, but the song, the love story, it all feels very out of place in a Nike ad.

But you’ll keep watching. Some of the copy lines are great, and the Forrest Gump-ness of the whole ‘run across America’ thing is nicely captured, and overall, it just sort of makes you smile. Will it fit into the great pantheon on Nike ads? No. Does it fit with a brand that consistently delivers surprising ideas and takes chances? Yes. Judge for yourself.

(P.S – You can watch this IN 3D!)

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Really nice use of Facebook here from who else but Nike.

To engage young people in Amsterdam in running, Nike Running created a platform within facebook that allowed users to create their own routes, but with a twist, more graffiti designs than just simple running routes. Skulls and Space Invaders were just some of the routes created.

Building on the digital community that had participated in the campaign, Nike provided the a space to gather in the real world; ‘The Runhouse’ became a venue for people to join in their customsied runs together, as well as a space to hang out, and enjoy the some benefits of being part of this community.

It’s a smart idea that builds on the mature platform of Nike+ (which attracts a slightly older, and more hardcore running demographic) and adding value offline that helps make it a more rounded and interesting platform. Which really is the most exciting thing about this, another example of advertising and communication beyond the campaigns and into added value platforms. Building ‘things’ that people use, not just view.

Good stuff Nike.

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