Because nobody under 30 in China watches TV anymore, we thought we’d point you towards this new and rather aesthetically pleasing little montage of athletic behaviors from the
corporate monolith good people at Nike.
The clip, titled ‘Use Exercise’ (用运动) sits firmly within the Nike tradition of superior advertising. Like past clips, including ‘Move’ (2002) and ‘Awake’ (2006), the newest spot works like a pop-culture sermon, this time selling self-belief (Liu Xiang looking stern gets intercut with X-rays of his right foot) and the worthy struggle of athletic pursuit (a gymnast falling repeatedly, and an armless swimmer! Take that, armless pianist) more than any particular product.
Sedentary types are encouraged to get active by a loudspeaker-filtered narrator speaking in faux-officialese about the Meaning of Exercise, while a portmanteau of pro athletes (Li Na, Kobe, Shanghai Shenhua FC) and regular folks getting sporty are shown in a variety of inspiring/fun/China-specific contexts. Oh, and they’re all decked out in Nike merchandise, of course.
More video after the jump…(including brand new ad!)
Though we have no idea who’s in charge of Nike’s localization, we can vouch that they definitely know what they’re doing. The ‘Dream On’ ad (featuring Scottie Pippen, Penny Hardaway, Hideo Nomo, etc.) from our TV-addled mid-nineties heyday still manages to be relevant, in terms of speaking to the experience of Asian kids vis-a-vis their troubled relationship with their parents. I don’t want to be a doctor, mom!
And fresh out the oven is the new clip, featuring club-swinging Lothario Tiger Woods with national golden child Liu Xiang, doing some competitive feats of skill and goof-offery. We have no idea who thought they’d be a good match either.
The ad is serviceable (there isn’t much talking going on, for obvious reasons), but doesn’t really compare to the all-time high watermark for commercials-where-athletes-compete-and-engage-in-hijinx: Larry Bird vs Michael Jordan in ‘The Showdown’ (1993), for all the Big Mac marbles.