Steve Nash’s story revolves around the fact that he is a Canadian point guard for the Phoenix Suns, but that’s not the point of this post: He has accomplished two very uncommon things in the last few months that were of some interest to us. First he teamed up with Nike to release the upcoming “Trash Talk” shoe. Cleverly named, it is made of nearly 100% recycled materials that Nike plants usually discard. It will be released to coincide with Earth Day in April. The second part, and what I think is the kicker, is the ad campaign Nike wanted to use to showcase the basketball star in his off-season from shooting hoops. Turns out Nash is extremely gifted at playing soccer as well; he had the potential to go pro but chose the NBA instead.
The above ad was pitched to Nash by various agencies, including Nike’s defacto ad company W+K, but Nash turned it all down. So, with a budget of only 30,000, which in the ad world is hardly a drop in the bucket, he took full control of the commercial, writing the copy, hiring the director, and the full layout. Very few, if any, athletes that Nike endorses have ever done this and the general consensus is that many don’t care enough to take such responsibility. I really like this ad but it poses a big question: is this the end of the big ad firm? Apple recently fell into the same situation when a young kid from the UK put together a commercial for their new iPod touch media player that out-shined the planned campaign deployed by TBWA/CHIAT/DAY; they hired him to help integrate his vision into the current campaign we all saw. What is your opinion on this turn of power?
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