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Nike’s manic, dizzying “Counts” ad

Think you’re a movie, TV and music geek? See how many of the clips can you identify in this new, mashed-up Nike commercial.

Some fast edits, right? I kept smiling the full minute of this commercial because I kept spotting fleeting stuff I could recognize. The Warriors! Indiana Jones! MC Hammer! Twin Peaks! The Office! Christopher Walken! You probably recognized different things than me, depending on your age, your cultural exposure, and how big of a geek you are.

The on-screen copy—about what “counts” and “doesn’t count,” sewed up neatly at the end with the three-sylable command, “Make it count”—is nicely done. I found the whole commercial intensely satisfying to watch.

What’s this an ad for? I dunno, some kind of sports wristwatch? The real product is the Nike brand, which improbably seems to be cool and cutting-edge all the time. Right now, to be cool and cutting-edge means to be quick with video edits, and unleash a machine-gun blast of deep and sly pop culture references.

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How do they get away with using all these old movies and TV shows? I’m guessing good lawyers. I have only a vague idea how the rights clearances work on an ad like this, but I in my mind I’m imagining a stack of paperwork approximately the size a school bus. The only other ad like this I can think of is TBWA’s Apple iPhone ad from 2007.

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Who created this ad?

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff and Susan Hoffman.
Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke, and Dan Hon.
Copywriters: Edward Harrison and Mike Warzin.
Art Director: Mike Warzin.
Producer: Felicia Glover and Jen Dennis.

See more credits at Adweek.

Who signed off on it?

Probably NIKE president and CEO Mark Parker.

What song is in this commercial?

“I See You Baby” by Groove Armada

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Advertising, Technology

One comment

  1. Ben says:

    Someone’s going to get seriously hurt trying to jump over a car because this ad makes it look cool. Sorry to be a downer, just saying, and I do like the ad.

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