It's often said that runners are a different breed. In his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami philosophizes about the endless lonely hours of mental and physical exertion involved in long-distance running. He sees those hours, and that pain, as a challenge to the human spirit that's worth undertaking over and over—a test of one's ability to withstand pain and consciously choose achievement over suffering. But many people, of course—those who see much of life as an exercise in pain avoidance—think that's just plain crazy.
Wieden + Kennedy's new ad campaign for Nike Running explicitly illustrates this gap between runners and nonrunners through a character named Alice, a woman who literally never stops running. Alice's regimen is an inconvenience to everyone—her boyfriend, her friends, her parents, and grandparents. Unable to catch her at any other time (because there is no other time), each of them is forced to visit Alice during her run—huffing and puffing alongside her, pleading for more of her attention, inquiring about her well-being, and generally inspecting this lunatic who just can't seem to get with the program.
Yet from Alice's point of view, it's everyone else who doesn't get it. This is the classic runner's pride—that yes, runners are different, and probably superior. Of course, personal relationships have to suffer for the greater good. The spot, shot in Vancouver, presents this message in a playful, lighthearted way with the comical setup and frolicsome music. The dialogue is also amusing—Alice keeps her replies to her loved ones to the bare minimum, conserving her energy for more important matters. And there are some funny companion videos featuring mockumentary interviews with the aggrieved friends and family.
But nestled in the whimsy is a core truth about running, which itself is wrapped, at the end, in a product need. You can't "Never stop running," as the onscreen tagline suggests, if you don't have right shoes. And those would be Nike's LunarGlide+ 3 Shields, spotlighted at the end of the commercial—a new breed of sneaker for a different breed of human.
Spot: "Some Time Together"
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy
Creative Director: Alberto Ponte
Creative Director: Ryan O'Rourke
Executive Producer: Ben Grylewicz
Copywriter: Icaro Doria
Copywriter: Dylan Lee
Art Director: Guillermo Vega
Business Manager: Maureen Doyle
Producer: Endy Hedman
Producer: Felicia Glover
Account Excecutive: Catherine Wolpe
Account Supervisor: Vanessa Miller
Production Company: Park Pictures
Director: The Glue Society
Executive Producer/Owner: Jackie Kelman Bisbee
Executive Producer/Head of Production: Dinah Rodriguez
Executive Producer: Justin Pollock
Line Producer: Michelle Currinder
DP: Tobias Schliessler
Production Services: Capital Media
Executive Producer: Christian Allen
Managing Partner: Keely Stothers
Post Production: Joint
Editor: Kyle Valenta
Executive Producer: Patt Brebner
Post Producer: Shelli Jury
Assistant Editor: Patrick Carroll