Through New Year’s on Creativity, we’ll be counting down the best work and ideas of the year in various categories: TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Out of Home/Design/Experiential and Digital/Integrated/Social.
Nike’s superbly crafted “Nothing Beats a Londoner” ad, created out of Wieden & Kennedy, London and directed by Megaforce made a bold global statement by showcasing the tremendous athletic talent that can emerge from the city’s gritty environs. Our No. 5 entry in TV/Film suffered controversy early on, with the company pulling it due to legal challenges surrounding the spot’s use of the abbreviation “LNDR,” which had been trademarked by another brand. Nevertheless, the film went on to earn the first Cannes Lions Social/Influencer Grand Prix.
Just in time for the Winter Olympics, Nike makes London athletes really shine against the gritty and unwieldy backdrop of their hometown. Sporty types of all kinds--school kids, amateurs and pros--appear one by one, scoffing and griping about how tough it is to perform, train or just get by in their respective turfs--yet they just do it anyway.
Each is one-upped by the next, boasting about their more trying circumstances as the scenes get progressively insane--one guy spews streams of tears from his eyes, a dude with spaghetti arms morphs into a gargantuan, muscled beast.
The diverse cast, consisting largely of Londoners, features sports stars and celebrities including Mo Fara, Dina Asher-Smith, Skepta, Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate.
Outside of the hero film, which airs on broadcast from today, the campaign has been seeded socially--with the stars posting on Instagram their individual scenes and linking to that of the next "competitor."
Wieden & Kennedy London created the ad, with Megaforce directing via Riff Raff.
In June, the ad went on to become the first Grand Prix recipient in the new Social & Influencer Lions category at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Thursday night.
"When we come down to it, this category represents a shift in advertising," says Jury President Mark D'Arcy, VP and chief creative officer at Facebook.
The addition of the category is a nod to how social media has influenced creativity.
The jury looked at brands that were taking action, not just talking about something they wanted to do, D'Arcy said. Ultimately, he said, it is about people and connection.
"This is how culture gets shaped and it is pretty incredible," D'Arcy said about the campaign.