The No. 1 sneaker company's Hilversham, Holland unit will premiere the lavish 'Opera' campaign, a flight of three television spots featuring Nike product endorsers as the tragic figures in their own, specially scripted operettas.
The campaign comes as arch-rival Reebok International makes its most intensive global image push to date, having launched its 'Planet Reebok' campaign on Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast and concurrently in 70 markets worldwide. Both companies have set goals to have international sales match U.S. sales by 1996.
The spots, created by Nike agency Wieden & Kennedy's new Amsterdam office and shot in L.A. by director Joe Pytka, all air in Italian with subtitles. In the first, 'Barkley of Seville,' NBA and Dream Team star Charles Barkley is playing in an immaculate basketball cathedral and, whistled for a foul, kills the referee. A dark figure appears and takes his Nikes.
The dark figure reappears in the other two spots: 'The Magic Shoe,' with Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, and 'Don Quincy,' which features 400-meter world record holder Quincy Watts. In that spot, the dark figure tries to exchange his wife for Quincy's Nikes.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)