All the child sweatshops in poverty-stricken nations mumbo jumbo aside, you have to admit that Nike makes some pretty bad ass commercials. For over twenty years Nike has looked upon Portland agency Weiden+Kennedy as their primary. During that time they have continually created some of the most memorable and inspiring commercials on television.
11. I FEEL PRETTY
This commercial has everything you need for a classic. A catchy tune that is sure to get stuck in the viewers minds. 2 – A hot little Russian blond tennis phenom. And Johnny Mac.
Two of the greatest tennis players to ever hold a racket and as this commercial so beautifully illustrates, other than their abilities on the court they shared very little else in common. Pepsi has Coke. Gretzky had Lemieux. And Sampras had Agassi.
A great take on an updated version of this commercial is one that someone over at The Parlayer came up with:
9. ROLE MODEL
A classic ad that eloquently communicates an important message to parents and young people who idolize and hold professional athletes on a pedastill.
No music. No words. Just a clever and interesting journey through the evolution of the Nike Air shoe.
7. TIGER BOUNCING BALL
This might not seem like anything incredible, most golfers who spent a good amount of time on the green can more or less do something like this. But when this came out it was awesome. Nike exploited Tigers skills and abilities in a very entertaining and creative way. Rumor has it this commercial only took 2 takes. Tiger did this on the first take but no one gave him a time cue and he ended up going over the time limit. That’s sick.
Clearly if Nike can convince the greatest Basketball player who ever lived that he is a failure then what chance do we have in not being persuaded to buy their shoes.
5. LET YOUR GAME SPEAK
Back to back Jordan ads. It’s incredible to think that all of this was accomplished by one man. For those who don’t understand the reference of this ad, it’s essentially a compilation of Michael Jordan’s greatest moves, accomplishments and highlight reel material reenacted by normal athletes imitating him.
4. DO ANYTHING
Time for a little Nike humor. This ad is brilliant. Such a simplistic and creative idea that was brilliantly written. “The Texas Tickeler”. The beauty of this ad is that it’s not a stretch of the imagination to see Randy Johnson as a Bowler. Reminds me of Bill Murray in Kingpin. All he needs is the greasy comb-over.
Awesome. Amazing display of skill and ability in this one.
2. PRE LIVES
“PHHMMMMMM…(tears up and bites knuckle) THAT’S MY BOY!
A great inspirational and moving piece done for an amazing athlete who was taken to soon, Steve Prefontaine. If you don’t know who he is click the link and educate yourself.
1. A LITTLE LESS HURT
Absolutely incredible commercial. Every single time I watch this I get a shiver that shoots up my spine. Beautifully edited and never has music been so perfectly matched with video. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a JC fan or that I’m an athlete but I doubt my bias will make any of you disagree with my choice for #1?
Any athelte who sees this will get the same shiver I do becaue they know how much work, dedication and sacrifice they must endure to do what they love. Beyond the glory there are times of diversity, struggle and moments where the limits of the human body are constantly flerted with.