The athletes take over the ad in new Nike commercial

Nike proves that it is still the boss of sports advertising in an epic but funny new spot, released to coincide with the Rio Olympics.

Last month Nike released an ad which showed various babies in their cribs. They didn’t know it yet, but the name labels on the cots – which included Neymar Jr, Serena Williams, and Lebron James – suggested that these babies were going to grow up to be very unusual adults, athletes at the top of their various fields.

The spot was extremely popular, but it turns out it was just a precursor to a longer, funnier piece of work released today, which shows just what these players, and many more, are capable of. Watch it below:

The spot, tilted Unlimited You, opens in fairly regular style, with the voiceover intoning how various young athletes, while not doing that well right now, would become great in the future. The tone here is witty from the off, but moves into out-and-out comedy halfway through, when a gymnast dramatically shatters the Just Do It tag, and the athletes begin doing their own thing, to the outrage of the voiceover man (played by Star Wars: Force Awakens actor Oscar Isaac).

Nike has taken a more light-hearted route in its advertising for a little while now, previously using a comedy voiceover in its Inner Thoughts spot last year. This approach is a welcome break from the earnest, bombastic style that has dominated sports advertising for what feels like decades. After all, sport is a fun as well as competitive activity, and it’s good to see the likes of Serena and Mo playing along here too.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Directors: The Daniels
Production company: Prettybird

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