Ad of the Day: Jordan Brand

Wieden + Kennedy films a glorious frozen moment on Venice Beach with dozens of Chris Pauls

Chris Paul bursts out of a concrete wall filled with shoe boxes, passes the ball to himself, knocks over a cyclist, makes some woman spill her coffee, sits for a caricature artist, upsets what appears to be an applecart (we told you not to do that, Chris!), passes to himself again after leaping off a wall, charges through wet concrete, ducks past the point guard, bounce passes the ball (to himself, of course) so hard that he breaks the blacktop, and slams home a backboard-shattering dunk.

Sort of. What he actually does is probably jump rope somewhere or go to the movies while a bunch of guys who look like him, in Chris Paul jerseys, stand perfectly still next to each other, each moving slightly forward in a chain of events so the next human statue appears to be about one-tenth of a second in time past the guy before him.

This is a great spot. Shot by Wieden + Kennedy in New York on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, it's for Nike's Jordan Brand—specifically, Paul's new CP3.VI shoe. It probably cost a hell of a lot more to do the whole two-and-a-half-minute presentation as practical effects than it would have to make a CGI short with the actual Chris Paul doing everything depicted here. Wouldn't be nearly as cool, though. (Well, unless it were a masterpiece like Jonathan Glazer's 1996 "Frozen Moment" Nike ad with Michael Jordan, which seems to be the inspiration here.)

The best thing about the actual filming of this spot, as opposed to the setup and design, is the movement in the background. It's enough for you to immediately, subconsciously realize you're not watching some kind of new, weird computer effect, and it communicates what the ad wants to do right away, which is such a complicated idea that it takes me two paragraphs to describe it above. It's an innovation so simple it borders on stupidity, like the old Weezer music video by Spike Jonze that included so much carefully edited footage from Happy Days that people asked how he'd managed to digitally insert the band into the old show. (He hadn't, of course. The trick was that Al Molinaro was in both the original footage and the new shots.)

Anyway, kudos to director Andreas Nilsson. This spot is destined for many tweets and Facebook shares.

Client: Jordan Brand  
Project: CP3.VI Launch

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York
Creative Directors: Andy Ferguson, Brandon Mugar
Copywriter: Alexander Barrett
Art Director: Jed Heuer
Business Affairs Director: Sara Jagielski
Business Affairs Manager: Angel Cielo
Executive Producer: Dan Blaney
Account Team: Julian Cheevers, Matt Ahumada, Cory McCollum
Brand Strategist: Ben Alter
Executive Creative Directors: Ian Reichenthal, Scott Vitrone
Head of Content Production: Lora Schulson

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Andreas Nilsson
Executive Producer: Colleen O'Donnell
Line Producer: Pete Vitale
Director of Photography: Crille Forsberg
Production Designer: Brock Houghton
Wardrobe Stylist: Shirley Kurata
Managing Director: Shawn Lacy

Production (Behind the Scenes)
Production Company: Show Cobra
Executive Producer: Kate Susman

Editorial Company: Show Cobra
Editor: Dom Whitworth
Post Producer: Charlie Clark
Post Executive Producer: Kate Susman

Music, Sound Artist: Miike Snow
Producer: Pontus Winnberg

Graffiti Artist: Dabs Myla