Nike had a huge advertising success at the 2010 World Cup with "Write the Future," the epic soccer spot that won the 2011 Film Grand Prix at Cannes for Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam. (It didn't work out so well for the players in the spot, though, many of whom failed notably at the tournament—fueling fears of a "Write the Future" curse.) Now, Wieden + Kennedy London takes over for Amsterdam with a sequel of sorts called "My Time Is Now," which is, in its own way, just as epic as the original.
The theme this time is the hunger of youth, with up-and-coming players like Brazil's Neymar, France's Yann M'Vila and Germany's Mario Götze storming a field—followed by hundreds of others—to compete against established stars like France's Franck Ribéry, Holland's Wesley Sneijder and, of course, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. The list of superstars also includes Rafael van der Vaart, Javier Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Jack Wilshere—as well as the retiring Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. And for those Americans who could care less about soccer, LeBron James even makes a cameo—and it appears he would make a pretty good goalkeeper, too.
The spot has the same dynamic, otherworldly atmosphere as "Write the Future" did—it has a luminous glow, and thanks to some cinematic tricks, the play on the field is presented in a way that's somehow both unbelievably frenetic yet supremely graceful. (It captures the superhuman feeling of high-level sport like almost no other ads do.) The ad also has its tongue firmly in cheek, with comic touches all over the place—most notably, Ronaldo getting completely sidelined because he can't find a shirt that fits him.
If the new spot doesn't have quite the compelling narrative that made "Write the Future" so special (that spot's often hilarious visions of post-tournament adulation or scorn for players who succeed or fail were priceless), it makes up for it by offering more in the way of interactivity. Over at Nike Football's YouTube page, you can watch a version of the film that has embedded "tunnels" that lead to all kinds of hidden content.
Nike simply can't do a mediocre soccer commercial. Here, it's made another instant classic. Let's just hope it doesn't put a hex on the players this time.
Campaign: My Time Is Now
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London
ECD’s: Tony Davidson & Kim Papworth
Creative Director: Stuart Harkness
Interactive Creative Lead: Scott Dungate
Creatives: Ben Everitt & Ali Merry
Planning Director/Interactive Strategy Lead: Graeme Douglas
Planner: Oscar Powell
Account Director: Ryan Fisher
Account Managers: Alex Rogers & Martin Jackson
Exec Producer: Dannie Stewart
Producer: James Guy
Interactive Producers: Silvan Schreuder & Samara Zagnoiev
Interaction Design / UX Consultant: Dan Hon
ECD: Duan Evans
International Client Partner: Geoff Northcott
Creative Director: Phil Haworth
Associate Creative Director: Davor Krvavac
Planning Director: Dan Hill
Planner: Ben Taylor
Copywriter: Tom Reed
Senior Designer: Neil Gurr
Designer: Andreas Levin
Associate User Experience Architect: Zac Best
Social Media Executive: Dan Jones
Social Media Editor: Sherief Younis
Account Manager: James Annis
Group Account Director: John Wilson
Oliver Joyce – Partner
Ivor van Maaren – Account Director
Clare Sims – Account Director
Daniel Daynes – Account manager
Jonathan Chadwick – Global Partner
Adrien Robert – Global Invention Director
Alistair Lennie – Global Planning Director
Executive Creative Director – Gabriel Gaultier.
Copywriter – Dimitri Lucas
Art Director – Gregory Ferembach
Account supervisor – Thomas Kohn/Arnaud Dutant/Jessy Teboul
TV Production – Anne Mascorda/Xavier Favre