Nike’s first esports advertisement features gamers arrive at Camp Next Level — an esports training facility built by League of Legends player UZI. The retired League of Legends star was one of the first esports signings made by Nike.
The ad itself shows gamers being trained and worked in an (esports) training camp. Nike has come out saying that the ad is meant to try and remind esports athletes, who often practice extremely long days, that a healthy lifestyle and eating right is just as important as putting in long hours of practice.
Why it’s hot:
Nike didn’t hold back in it’s first eSports spot and launched in a Chinese market that is already booming. China’s e-sports revenue grew 54.69% YoY to $10.6 billion in the first six months of 2020. The spot will definitely spark discussion over Nike’s place in the esports world.
The latest entrant to the world of subscription boxes is Nike Adventure Club – a sneaker service for kids. Parents of kids aged two to ten years old know the struggle — kids’ feet are continually growing so new shoes are seemingly always needed, but fitting in sneaker shopping in busy schedules and getting kids to make a selection is not a fun process. The subscription service aims to solve this pain point with over 100 sneaker styles that will come straight to customers’ doors.
The service will come in three tiers–ranging from four pairs of sneakers a year to twelve pairs a year. If customers like the shoes, they keep them. When they’re ready for new shoes, they can send back the old pair and Nike will donate or recycle the returned shoes.
True to the lifestyle brand, Nike Adventure Club is about more than shoes. It’s also an exclusive experience parents and kids can share through curated outdoor games and activities each month. KaBoom, a nonprofit focused on encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle for kids, has partnered with Nike on crafting these activities.
Why It’s Hot
The Nike Adventure Club isn’t just another novelty subscription box — it solves a real need for parents and their growing children.
IKEA seems to be taking a Nike approach to its sales and marketing by dropping limited editions into the market to see how a new generation of buyers reacts and the product sells. All items on display were also labeled ‘prototype’ and they were debuted through a livestream from a gallery in NYC and promoted via influencers.
IKEA followed up on the recently announced skateboard-lifestyle inspired line by Chris Stamp with a furniture collection by fashion designer Virgil Abloh. This is aimed Gen Z and Millennial adults moving into their first homes. To appeal to this audience, Abloh took classic pieces and gave them “subtle ironic twists.” As part of the collection, the designer created a glass cabinet with a wooden frame which stores goods but also acts as a showcase of those products.
Why it’s hot: From a brand that usually shows how their furniture items look in your home (from the layout of their store, to their AR app that you can literally see how they look in your home…) – it is an interesting approach to see them separate new items from in-situ and position them like limited-edition art pieces. It seems more like a stunt than a new Gen Z strategy, however I would be interested to see results from this tactic!
And if Nike’s vision evolves, it could, in fact, be the shoes…that are a gateway to exploring more of what we might like.
They’ve already dabbled, and we’ve already discussed connected jerseys, that bring you content specific to the team and player at the tap of an NFC enabled phone. Nike’s latest “AF1 NikeConnect QS NYC” sneakers “will come with an NFC (near-field communication) chip embedded under a NikeConnect logo on the heel of the sneaker. By using the NikeConnect app on a phone, you can tap your phone on the sensor and gain access to exclusive content and Nike events in New York City, as well as an opportunity to purchase other popular Nike kicks.”
Why it’s hot:
What Nike is doing is an interesting approach in a world where we’re overwhelmed with stuff and information. By making the things we buy portals to more of what we might like, it seems an attempt to make anything an easy gateway to discovery, circumventing all the noise involved in finding things on our own on the vast and wide internet. And if all Nike Connect products are linked to your personal account, Nike could conceivably provide you with even better inspiration based on the sum total of your “Nike closet”.
Nike is celebrating the beginning of its partnership with the NBA by revealing that its new fan jerseys will include an interactive element, designed to bring the sport’s followers closer to its biggest stars. Billed as ‘the future of fan apparel’, each of the connected basketball jerseys features a unique NFC chip — the same technology used in metro cards, or for apple pay — built into its jock tag. using NIKEconnect, fans will then be able to access real-time, personalized experiences through their smartphone.
Why It’s Hot:
-Yet another example of how physical and digital worlds continue colliding at breakneck speed
-Successfully merged two of the most relevant communication tactics, tech and content, to deliver unique experiences
– Somehow, it turned clothing into a proprietary media channel with huge cross-selling opportunities
“Essentially what happens is customers can purchase a jersey for their favorite player and unlock “premium content” about that player via the NikeConnect app. That premium content includes things such as “pregame arrival footage,” highlight reels, music playlists from players, and more. Just so everything comes full circle, the jerseys can unlock boosts for players in NBA 2K18.”
Why It’s Hot:
Everything is now a platform. With AR, NFC, and QR truly becoming mainstream, and mixed reality and AI presumably not long behind them, we’re interacting with things in a whole new way. This is a relatively light example – less utility, more entertainment – but it shows how technology is integrating into everything to provide a new layer of experience to even the clothes we wear.
John Mayer has designed a pair of sneakers, and they’re… anticlimactic. He debuted his Nike iD creation on his Instagram page Saturday: a customized pair of Nike Air Max 90s, in gray tones with a hint of neon-green bubbles in the heels. The shoes, named “Spirit Levels,” will be released on July 29, according to Instagram, and will sell through his Shopify page.
Mayer has not officially teamed up with Nike to release these shoes, unlike other celebrity-designed sneakers. After creating his sneakers through Nike iD, he then bought every pair the company would sell him. Interesting way to make these somewhat-boring sneakers already seem hard-to-get…
Why it’s hot/weird/cold:
One has to wonder if John Mayer was really bored and decided to make bland sneakers on Nike iD just to see if his fans would buy them because of him. I’m not impressed. However, if this is a success (which I predict it might be for the amount of ‘sneakerheads’ out there), it will certainly speak to the power of Instagram advertising, and a potential new path to celebrity-brand collaborations.
Imagine its 1985 – Your flagship star Michael Jordan has just debuted his first signature shoe, the Air Jordan. No one had seen anything like it; a shoe designed and endorsed by a major athlete. The execs at Nike must have been grinning ear to ear at the sales potential. That is…until you get a letter from the NBA banning your product.
So whats a marketer to do? Countless hours, media spend and endorsement money is now at risk. You leverage the technique of Succès de scandale (French for “success from scandal”) – or make lemonade out of lemons.
Soon after the NBA ban, Nike took their scandal and went on the offensive launching a nationwide print and media campaign including this TV ad:
With that they turned scandal into sensation. That year ( and for many after) the Nike Air Jordan became the best selling sneaker.
So what does this teach us? That there is opportunity in every situation. Sometimes our projects get a bad call, or miss the free throw – but with creative thinking and some grit you can still hit that buzzer beater and win the game.
Nike built an augmented reality application called SNKRS for users to gain access to limited-edition sneakers available for purchase. The first sneaker to debut through the app was the Nike SB Dunk High Pro Momofuku, a collaboration with David Chang, creator and owner of the Momofuku restaurant group.
For a user to gain access to the shoe, they have to open the app and point their camera at the menu at Fuki East Village Momofuku in New York. People can still gain access to the shoes elsewhere, as an online menu works as well. Users need to look for a special ‘SNKRS’ label for the app to work properly. Once scanned, the shoes are unlocked and users have an opportunity to purchase a pair, as long as they’re in stock.
Right now, the SNRKS application only works on iOS phones, but Nike plans to release a version for Android soon.
How do brands use augmented reality in a way that engages their core audience? What’s interesting about this is (1) the audience understanding — sneaker freaks DO care about insider, unique, unlocking-type tasks and (2) the localization factor + partnership factor. However, I have to wonder what the reach is on something like this — is it a lot of effort for a little engagement?
As one of the greatest to ever play the game, and perhaps one of the most polarizing figures in sports today, Lebron James’s has seen his share of ups and downs since he joined the NBA in 2003. But there’s no arguing that James has carefully crafted his Brand. At times powerfully emotional – at times wholly contrived – James harnesses his branded partnerships and massive media leverage to tell his story and sell product while he’s at it. Because that’s exactly what a superstar player like James does off the court– he constructs and carefully manages his image. Through media and brand partnerships over the years, James has established himself as one of the most iconic figures in advertising– most notably through his work with Nike.
Watching James’s career through the lens of his ads shows us the story arc of his own personal brand strategy come to life. Juxtaposing James’s Nike spots during his stint in Miami with those that followed once he returned as the Prodigal Son of Cleveland make for an uneasy character study; The Ringer’s Jason Concepcion cynically muses of the spots, “Authenticity is a valuable commodity that can be replicated as necessary”. Yet if this tells us anything as marketers, it’s that strong brands are resilient, despite losses, missteps, and change.
This summer Nike launched the Risk Everything campaign as well as The Phenomenal Shot (with Google). The two campaigns are extremely interesting because they juxtapose the usage of technology in sports. The Risk Everything commercial “The Last Game” shows a … Continue reading →
Nike unveiled a public vending machine at the entrance of the heavily trafficked Williamsburg bridge in New York City. People can only access the goodies inside the machine by scanning a Nike Fuelband and using the accumulated NikeFuel points that can be obtained through the use of the Nike+ platform. The machine inventory consists of Nike merchandise in the form of socks, hats, t-shirts, and other Nike equipment. It is unclear how long the machine will be at the location and if there are plans for a city-wide campaign featuring more machines.
Why It’s Hot:
Nike has taken a virtual, online only currency and made it useful in the real world. This gives NikeFuel points more importance as well as creates a unique real-world experience that could previously only be accessed through online portals.
Last week, Nike released its new four-minute World Cup ad, “Winner Stays.” The ad features a group of youth playing a pick-up game of soccer while imagining themselves as the world’s best soccer players. The ad includes appearances by Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Wayne Rooney, Andres Iniesta and other soccer superstars.
Many believe Nike’s World Cup ad “Write the Future” set the standard for sports advertising in 2012. (You can watch it here) and it is safe to say the new ad did not disappoint.
Why it’s Hot
First, did I mention that this ad, although obviously alluding to one of the world’s biggest sporting competitions, never mentions the World Cup. Why? Perhaps it is because the games are sponsored by Nike’s rival – Adidas.
Additionally to me, it’s also amazing to see the power of international brands taking the largest names and competitors in a single sport and getting them together to film an ad. Also, in a way, I see this as ad sending a positive message to the world. The ad emphasizes the fact that occasionally the world can come together for a for less serious and more peaceful purposes – for the love of the game