Wolff Olins’ moving identity for Nike and Obama campaign

Wolff Olins New York has created a moving brand identity for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, in partnership with Nike

Wolff Olins New York has created a moving brand identity for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, in partnership with Nike.

Nike approached the branding agency just over five weeks ago having entered a partnership with the campaign. The brief was to come up with an identity for the new offshoot, Let’s Move Active Schools, which provides schools with material to encourage kids to more activity, and launched in a high-profile event last week.

When the original campaign launched in 2010, its emphasis was on childhood obesity and promoting healthy nutrition. According to Todd Simmons, executive creative director at Wolff Olins New York, the new brand provided an opportunity to broaden that focus and “tackle physical activity head-on”, building on insight from Nike’s Designed to Move report which highlighted a growing global epidemic of physical inactivity.

It also had to reference the campaign’s link to the White House and the US, and have a certain ‘cool factor’, says Simmons. The main logo, which was designed in still and animated versions (see below), takes the 50 stars of the American flag as its starting point, morphing them into different animated shapes. It is a “clear and iconic” logo, says Simmons, and also references the campaign’s ‘Let’s’ component – its sense of community-based activity and its ambition to become a mass movement. “Because Let’s Move as an idea is one that needs to be used by lots of people, we were focused on an identity that could retail its iconic nature,” adds Wolff Olins senior strategist Amy Lee.

The verbal component of the identity represents the ‘Move’ element of the campaign, and includes “a long list of verbs that start to define both the spirit and tone of the brand but also literally some of the ways of moving”, says Simmons. “It was important that it didn’t feel preachy, physical activity can be a lot of different things.” Therefore, it emphasises all sorts of different – and fun – ways to stay active, such as ‘juggle’, ‘chase’ and ‘wiggle’.

With the campaign’s target audience of 8-12-year-olds, it was important that the identity was cool enough for kids. It is designed to be taken apart and reassembled in numerous iterations, inviting the kids to create their own logos, or flags representing their schools (see mock-ups below) – “to put their own personality into the identity”, says Simmons.

Even though the identity was designed for the Active School movement, it was built in a way that it could become the master brand too, and that it can also translate into other countries, adds Simmons. Wolff Olins will continue to track the project with Nike, making sure that everyone involved has the eright tools to activate the brand – “to get them into the kids’ hands”.

CR in print
The March issue of CR magazine celebrates 150 years of the London Underground. In it we introduce a new book by Mark Ovenden, which is the first study of all aspects of the tube’s design evolution; we ask Harry Beck authority, Ken Garland, what he makes of a new tube map concept by Mark Noad; we investigate the enduring appeal of Edward Johnston’s eponymous typeface; Michael Evamy reports on the design story of world-famous roundel; we look at the London Transport Museum’s new exhibition of 150 key posters from its archive; we explore the rich history of platform art, and also the Underground’s communications and advertising, past and present. Plus, we talk to London Transport Museum’s head of trading about TfL’s approach to brand licensing and merchandising. In Crit, Rick Poynor reviews Branding Terror, a book about terrorist logos, while Paul Belford looks at how a 1980 ad managed to do away with everything bar a product demo. Finally, Daniel Benneworth-Grey reflects on the merits on working home alone. Buy your copy here.

Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878, or buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.

CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month.

You may also like

dsc_0072_0.jpg - The word on the street - 5183

The word on the street

A new survey of typographic installations shows how using the right words can make a big difference to civic experience

screen_shot_20130227_at_17.04.51web_0.jpg - Some of this week's ads - 5129

Some of this week’s ads

A trip down Sony’s memory lane and the life of an Anchor butter kitchen are among adland’s offerings this week

vw_0.jpg - VW ad aims to catch the fast-forwarders - 5190

VW ad aims to catch the fast-forwarders

DDB Brussels has attempted to tackle the growing TV advertising challenge of viewers’ fast-forwarding through ad breaks with its new commercial for Volkswagen. Described by the agency as a new format of advertising, the Volkswagen Beetle ‘Slowmercial’ doubles up as a quasi-print ad when fast-forwarded, and can thus be enjoyed – or at least taken in – at normal speed as well as high speed.

cover_0.jpg - CR March: London Underground 150 special issue - 5096

CR March: London Underground 150 special issue

The history of the London Underground is the history of visual communications. We celebrate 150 years of the tube in CR March, where you can read about the evolution of the world-famous roundel, the Underground’s own instantly recognisable typeface, its long tradition of great posters, platform art, maps, merch and more


Client Manager


Senior Designer

Crown Growing Brand Belief