Nike has launched its "Play New" campaign, encouraging individuals to discover sports in new ways. The film it launched with its campaign features elite athletes such as Sabrina Ionescu, Dina Asher-Smith, Blake Leeper, and award-winning artist Rosalía. Garnering over nine million views, the film begins with a boxing ring scene where a young boy attempts sparring with his competitor, but is knocked out with the first punch his competitor throws. His failed attempt is accompanied with an off-screen narration that says: "You know what? Here's to going for it, and being terrible."
The film follows the theme of "Giving it a shot even if the shot is garbage". It encompasses several scenes of athletes attempting activities they are not proficient in, while combatting their failed attempts with laughter and smiles. It ends with the narrator saying: "Trying to do something you've never done before. That doesn't suck at all."
The campaign represents the belief that sport can inspire, create community and provide a platform for positive change. The campaign shares how sports is not just about competition – it can be about the joy of movement and the creativity of play. It will be featured on Nike’s several platforms including social channels and owned platforms, on digital media as well as broadcast cable TV, and out-of-home installations.
Additionally, Nike will be engaging people to join in sport through its social channels, creating new ways of accessing sport through Snapchat and TikTok. It will be introducing new Play New themed full-body augmented reality lenses on Snapchat. The AR Lenses will contain persistent storage, a new feature from Snapchat, so users can return to the Lens to see their scores and progress it added. Nike will also create a series of episodic journeys that follow TikTok creators as they try something new, sharing their funny and imperfect experiences with audiences. This will join Nike’s existing “Break It Down” content series featuring creators teaching their signature moves, to encourage youth to have fun and get moving.
In its press release, Melanie Auguste, VP, global brand marketing, shared the various attributes Nike wishes its viewers to achieve through play, such as joy, inspiration, resilience, and discovery.
This is not the first time Nike has dabbled in AR in its campaigns. Prior to this, in July 2020, Nike and AKQA partnered to unveil an AR enabled zine in Japan, which was launched alongside Nike's latest shoes then, the Nike Air Max 2090.
According to AKQA, the zine allows users to customise the shoe. Throughout the printed zine, readers will discover Air Max inspired creativity, and black-and-white illustrations. They scan the blank shoes with a smartphone to generate a floating AR model. As the shoe is coloured in on the page, the 3D model changes to reflect the creation. Once finished an animation of the design can be shared to social channels.
The AR-enabled zine is said to be an alternative way to express the spirit of Air Max and bring people together in the absence of global events in Japan, including the Tokyo Olympics Games 2020. The zine was created as the new Nike Air Max 2090 launched when fans had to stay at home due to the lockdown.
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