How the Brilliantly High-Concept Nike Commercial ‘Tag’ Changed Sports Advertising Forever

KBS's Patrick Scissons picks his three favorite ads

Few sports advertising campaigns have been as influential as Nike’s “Play” by Wieden + Kennedy. Launched in the summer of 2001, it took what had been primarily a performance sports brand and gave it a fun, inclusive attitude, inspiring ordinary athletes and encouraging them to define what their game is.

The campaign’s inventive storytelling was never better than with “Tag,” directed by the late, great Frank Budgen, in which a whole city joins a young man in a game of tag. With its fanciful vision of community and camaraderie around what is essentially a solo activity (running), the spot would go on to inspire a whole generation of sports advertisers. (It would also win the Grand Prix in Film at Cannes in 2002.)

Patrick Scissons, the global chief creative officer of KBS, chooses “Tag” as one of his three favorite ads ever in our latest “Best Ads Ever” video.

Check out the video above for his take on the classic spot, as well as his other two favorite ads. He also discusses KBS’s new BMW advertising, and what inspires him creatively in his everyday life.

Check out the full “Tag” spot below.