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Pathmatics Blog
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Nike's Olympic Message: Unlimited You

August 19 2016 by Ken Roberts

Last time we focused on Under Armour heading into the Olympics blackout period. What digital campaigns might they run that took advantage of the new Rule 40 changes? Turns out, not much. It does not appear that UA is running any online, sponsored athlete ads so far during the games.

Nike, on the other hand, has been more active. nike-carnavale2.png

Ahead of the games in July, Nike ran "Unlimited Future," with actor Bobby Cannavale as a motivational coach to a nursery of infants—the cribs are labeled with familiar names like Serena Williams and Lebron James.

Next in the series and timed to the opening ceremonies, Nike launched the follow-up, "Unlimited You." This video is narrated by Oscar Isaac of Star Wars, Ex Machina, and X-Men fame. The spot starts as a slightly swarmy, almost funny "Just Do It" ad featuring struggling young athletes. You'd be forgiven for thinking it's an SNL parody. As we approach one minute, the script wraps up with the requisite "Just Do It" title. The spot is over.

Or is it?

Because these current and future champions have something more in mind. Much more.

nike_break.pngAs Isaac becomes increasingly flustered, the inspired athletes shatter their own limits with what you might call "Extreme Just Doing It." Cliff diving, challenging monster-sized wrestlers, launching off a crashing van for an insane alley-oop. Serena Williams volleys with Giancarlo Stanton with shots clocking in at 171 MPH (and, he's using his baseball bat!).

"Excuse me," Williams glares when Isaac objects.

After things spin fully out of Isaac's control ("Everybody is going way too far!"), we close with him begging a young boy not to launch on his skateboard down a steep, city street. "I got this," answers the boy before sinking down the horizon. 

Point made. When you think you've reached the end, you are just getting started. 

True to the concept, the end is just the beginning for the ads too. Nike is pulling out the individual sports into spots as well, such as "Unlimited Airtime," with Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon performing their van crash alley-oop shot.


About Author
Ken Roberts

Ken Roberts has been immersed in marketing and technology for over a decade, merging creative strategies with the latest technology, to bring products together with the people who need them. With degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and an MBA, Ken’s background in product management, marketing, sales, analytics and technology lends to his ability to attack product challenges on multiple levels. Ken began his career developing software solutions for medical records before transitioning to marketing. Ken focused on building marketing departments and operating in-house agencies. Ken’s experience with digital platforms, internet based marketing, lead scoring and business intelligence, and reporting, as well as a keen market understanding, are a welcome addition to Pathmatics, only matched by a leadership philosophy that encourages high creativity and ownership from his team.

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