W+K Amsterdam, Nike Implore Viewers to ‘Just Do It’ in Athens

By Erik Oster 

W+K Amsterdam worked with Nike’s Greek marketing department to launch a campaign for Nike Greece, starring Greek athletes training in the remains of the 2004 Athens Olympic venues.

Paralympic runner Michalis Seitis, Greek swimmer Eleni Hatzimitrou, Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and pole vaulter Nikoleta Kyriakopulou all show off their skills while a voiceover delivers lines meant to be empowering in the face of the country’s current financial crisis. “We will not be defined by circumstance,” says the voicover (in Greek) as the camera settles on Seitis, about to break into a sprint. “We will not be undone by what is broken,” he adds as Kyriakopulou prepares to vault. As the voiceover goes on with the line, “We are makers of our fate,” each of the athletes spring into action, ending with Antetokounmpo slamming a dunk, followed by the familiar “Just Do It” tagline.

Whether the approach, intended as a positive message for Greek youth in particular, during trying times, is empowering or tone deaf will ultimately be decided by Greek viewers (and not, uh, American bloggers).

But the timing of the ad, ahead of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics, and the leveraging of sentiment related to the Greek financial crisis to sell sneakers seems at least a little suspect. Add to that the setting of the spot, which Adweek points out is to many symbolic of “short-sighted government overspending in the years leading up to the nation’s current predicament,” and you have to wonder if “Just Do It” is really something you want to broadcast to Greek audiences in such a way. 

Credits:
NIKE
Brand Communications Director, Europe: Ed Collin
Brand Communications Director, CEE: Philip Jacobson
Brand Communications Director, Greece: George Parliaros
Brand Communications Manager, Greece: Katerina Zherebtsova

WIEDEN+KENNEDY AMSTERDAM
Executive Creative Director: Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy
Creative Director: David Smith & Craig Williams
Art Director: John Filipe
Copywriter: Bern Hunter
Head of Broadcast Production: Joe Togneri
Broadcast Producer: Stijn Wikkerink
Communications Planner: Josh Chang
Planner: Stephane Missier
Group Account Director: Kathryn Addo
Account Director: Amber Martin
Account Manager: Luke Purdy
Studio Artist: Cindy Kouwenoord
Project Manager: Janna Harrington, Loes Poot
Business Affairs: Niels Hagels

FILM PRODUCTION / EDITING
Director: John Filipe (Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam)
Editor: Robin Pijpers (Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam)
Producer: Stijn Wikkerink (Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam)

FILM PRODUCTION
PRODUCTION COMPANY: STEFI&LYNX Productions
Director of Photography: Leandro Ferrão
Executive Producer: Fay Katsari

AUDIO POST AMBASSADORS
Sound Designer/Mixer: Rens Pluym/Joep Meijburg

MUSIC
Artist/Title: Sanjiv SEN/Makers of Fate
Music Company: SCHMOOZE

POST PRODUCTION: AMBASSADORS
Flame: Bas Moonen
VFX: Stephen Pepper, Bas Moonen
Telecine: Brian Krijgsman
Producer: Wiarda Postma, Daphne Litjens

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