Does Westbrook Take Jab At Durant In New Ad? McIlroy Not Rushing Equipment Decision Nike Unveils Latest "Unlimited" Commercial Future Unclear For Minor League Detroit City FC Frost's Connection To Knight Assisted In Nike Deal Nike-Sponsored Golfers Faced With Uncertainty Nike Moves Away From Golf Equipment Business Phil Knight Talks All Things Nike Michigan Unveils New Jordan Brand Football Unis Nike Golf Struggling In Post-Tiger Era?
SBD/Issue 232/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing
Wieden & Kennedy Looks To Branch Into Other Creative Areas
Published August 22, 2002
While Wieden & Kennedy (W&K) is "one of the most creative [ad agencies] in the business," the agency is "trying to expand its creative reach beyond conventional commercials," according to Warren Berger of BUSINESS 2.0. W&K is putting together a Broadway musical, its Tokyo office "will launch a record label this fall, and in Hollywood, [W&K] is pitching a [TV] series to the networks." Berger: "And don't be surprised to see documentary films, MTV music videos, maybe a lush coffee-table book." Many in the ad business, including W&K co-Founder & President Dan Wieden, "believe that the industry is at an evolutionary crossroads," and Wieden added that W&K's new ventures "can attract clients looking to associate their brands with various forms of entertainment that go beyond the 30-second commercial." But Nike "has been the only client to bite. The company put up an undisclosed amount of seed money for [W&K writer Jimmy] Smith's Broadway show (titled `Ball', it will be choreographed by Savion Glover)." In addition, W&K created a film around Nike endorser Lance Armstrong entitled "Road to Paris," but Nike paid for the production and airtime. The film "took a soft-sell approach, not overtly plugging Nike, though the company's swoosh symbol was on Armstrong's uniform." Nike Global Media Dir Joe Pollard said that the film "was a success because it was watched and admired by the key target group cycling enthusiasts." Pollard: "From feedback, we learned that those people really appreciated that we'd served up a unique insight into their sport." Meanwhile, during the past three years, W&K's Tokyo office "has commissioned cutting-edge musicians and club deejays to create original songs, music sampling mixes or music videos based on the artists' `interpretations' of certain Nike products." W&K hired a band named Air to create a song called "6453/Freedom" "the name of a new Nike shoe. It was released on an album called Freedom, which reached the top 10." In addition, the club scene "has sought out subsequent Nike-sponsored recordings and multimedia DVDs, enabling Nike to penetrate the underground youth culture in a way that conventional ads could not." W&K's recent Nike soccer promo ran on MTV and the ad's soundtrack, which featured an Elvis Presley song, "went to the top of the American pop charts" in July. Berger: "It's one more testament to the cultural impact Wieden's potent ad-pop mix; not only does it sell shoes, it can bring Elvis back from the dead" (BUSINESS 2.0, 9/'02 issue).