Nike's launch spot for its "Risk Everything" campaign around this summer's World Cup was somber and serious—with the darkness of Jonathan Glazer's direction in some ways running counter to Nike's traditionally lighter treatments of the world's great soccer players.
Now, though, with part two released today, Nike gets its sense of humor back.
The new four-minute film, titled "Winner Stays," from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., and Rattling Stick director Ringan Ledwidge (in his first major ad job since making the Guardian's "Three Little Pigs"), is just vintage Nike.
Created in the same spirit and style as "Write the Future" from 2010, "Winner Stays" follows much the same formula as that celebrated spot—i.e., stunning action shots expertly offset by comic relief, all woven into a mini-narrative whose momentum builds to a quietly explosive set piece (in both advertising and soccer parlance) at the finale.
It features quite the cast of characters, too.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr. and Wayne Rooney get the top billing, but they're joined by Zlatan Ibrahimović, Gonzalo Higuaín, Eden Hazard, Andrea Pirlo, Gerard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta, Mario Götze, Thiago Silva, Thibaut Courtois and David Luiz (times two). And in a treat for American fans, U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard gets a major cameo, as well.
But the celebs extend well beyond the soccer world, with Kobe Bryant, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Irina Shayk and even the Incredible Hulk making memorable appearances. It all adds up to a freewheeling, joyful spot that manages the rare trick of making some of the world's most elite athletes seem both completely rarefied and yet eminently approachable.
The differences between "Write the Future" and "Winner Stays" are notable, too. Whereas "Write the Future" was all glitz, glamour and high comedy, the new spot is more down to earth, right down to the central conceit introduced in the first few seconds—that these are actually just regular pickup-game players pretending to be their idols.
In many ways, that fits Nike's ethos even better.
"We connect to players' passion for the game, whether it is the world's best in Brazil or players in the park or street," said Davide Grasso, Nike's CMO. " 'Winner Stays' taps into an experience that every young player around the world will recognize—competition with friends and the idea of playing with your heroes, or pretending to be them."
That kind of earthier World Cup, celebrating the everyman, is what Brazil 2014 promises. And this Nike spot sets the table just about perfectly.
Spot: "Winner Stays"
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O'Rourke
Interactive Director: Dan Viens
Copywriter: Jeff Salomonsson
Art Director: Sezay Altinok
Agency Producer: Endy Hedman
Production Assistant: Julie Gursha
Agency Executive Producer: Matt Hunnicutt
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz
Account Team: Karrelle Dixon, Alyssa Ramsey, Ricardo Hieber
Business Affairs: Laura Caldwell
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Fitzloff, Susan Hoffman, Joe Staples
Production Company: Rattling Stick
Director: Ringan Ledwidge
Executive Producer: Jen Barrons
Head of production: Joe Biggins
Line Producer: Sally Humphries
Director of Photography: Ben Seresin
Editorial Company: Work
Editor: Rich Orrick
Post Producer: Sari Resnick
Assistant Editor: Eleanor McNaughtan
VFX Company: The Mill
Senior Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
Executive Producer: Gemma Humprhies
Executive Color Producer: LaRue Anderson
Producer: Christina Thompson
Color Producer: Natalie Westerfield
Project Lead/Creative Director: Tom Bussell
Production Coordinator: Benjamin Sposato and Clare Melia
Shoot Supervisor: Tom Bussell, Austen Humphries and Andrew Wood
Lead Senior 2D Artist: John Shirley
Colonel Muster/CD: Andrew Wood
Colorist: Adam Scott
Design: Kyle Moore and Greg Park
2D Artists: Grant Connor, Peter Hodsman, Siro Valente, Jonathan Westley, Zoe Cassey, Frank Hanna, Gary Driver, Joseph Tang, Tim Davies, Adam Labert, Brad Scott, Olivia O'Neil, Patrick Heinen, Patrick Munoz, Eleanor Risdon, Ben Smith, Daniel Thursesson, Jake Maymudes, Martin Karlsson, Cameron Smither, Gianluca Di Marco, Andy Godwin, Zoe Cassey-Hayes, Paul Downes, Georgina Ford, Scott Wilson
3D Artists: Tom Raynor, Adam Droy, Adam Darrah, Phillip Maddock, Edward Hicks, Paul Donnellan, Charlotte Akehurst, Arthur Larsen, Sergio Xisto, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Graham, Mathew Fuller, Anthony Northman, Jake Flint, Hartwell Durfor, Danny Yoon, Michael O'Donoghue, Marta Carbonell, Fabrice Le Nezet, Margaux Huneau, Vasilis Pazionis, Lucy Luong, Jake Flint, Anthony Northman, Andy Wheater
Hulk VFX Company: Luma Pictures
Executive Supervisor: Payam Shohadai
VFX Supervisor: Vince Cirelli
Senior VFX Producer: Steven Swanson
Commercial Executive Producer: Vicki Mayer
VFX Producer: Michael Perdew
Animation Supervisor: Raphael Pimentel
CG Supervisor: Richard Sutherland
CG Supervisor: Pavel Pranevsky
Digital FX Supervisor: Justin Johnson
Design Supervisor: Loic Zimmerman
Look Development Lead: Jared Simeth
Character TD Supervisor: Thana Siripopungul
Senior FX TD: John Cassella
Lead Digital Coordinator: Catherine Hughes
Technical Coordinator: Daniel Kepler
Model, Texture: Dulshan Keragala / Cosmin Hrincu/ Safari Sosebee, Oded Raz
Animator: Alon Helman, Marcos Romero
Lighter, Compositor: Satoshi Harada, James Waterson, Alex Cancado, Joey Sila, Joe Censoplano
Roto, Paint Supervisor: Glenn Morris
Lead Roto, Paint: Jessica Bakke
Roto, Paint: Cameron Sorgi, Marcel Caue Martins, Prin Nimmannitya, Garrett Wycoff
Sound Company: Formosa Group
Sound Designer: Julian Slater
Sound Producer: Branwen Prestwood Smith
Song (if applicable): "Miss Alissa" Eagles of Death Metal
Mix Company: Lime Studios
Mixer: Rohan Young, Loren Silber
Producer: Susie Boyajan