W+K Portland and Powerade Will Box the Hell Out of the Olympics

By Erik Oster 

With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on the horizon (the event starts in early August), W+K Portland launched a new chapter of its “Just A Kid” campaign for Powerade with a focus on U.S. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls in new 15-second online spots.

Among those represented is Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, who became the the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Shields, who has only lost one fight since she started boxing at the age of eleven, is billed here as “Just a Kid From Flint” at a time when that city is still on the minds of many viewers.

The ad adopts something of a feminist tone: if the boxing gym is no place for a girl, then what might a “girl’s place” look like?

Another spot, “Run” features Olympian Lopez Lomong, while a third, “Undisturbed” stars Olympic hopeful Shakur Stevenson. W+K Portland will release more ads in a similar vein in the months leading up to the Olympics. And why not? The campaign’s approach is pretty well-suited to the event. The agency will also create a 30-second broadcast spot starring Shakur which will run during the live coverage. From June through August, Powerade will also sell “Just a Kid” Olympic t-shirts and other merchandise through its online marketplace and the campaign will be further supported by digital, OOH, social, PR and point-of-sale initiatives.


“A large part of what makes the Olympic Games so inspirational are the athletes who flourish on the world’s stage after rising up from a challenging living environment,” said Powerade group brand director Shannon Watkins.

“In keeping with our ‘Just a Kid’ campaign, we chose these three athletes because each of their stories prove how far you can climb by showing dedication and powering through adversity,” added senior IMC manager Sue Kim.

That’s pretty much it.

Creative Directors: Max Stinson, Erik Fahrenkopf
Copywriter: Wayne Kasserman
Art Director: Cameron Soane
Producer: Tiffany Golden

Production Company: Wieden + Kennedy
Director: Wayne Kasserman, Cameron Soane, Matt Hayes
Executive Producer: Shelli Jury
Line Producer: Rachel Gardell
Director of Photography: Matt Hayes

Editorial Company: JOINT
Editor: Matt Hayes
Post Producer: Tiffany Golden
Post Executive Producer: Shelli Jury

VFX Company: JOINT
VFX Supervisor: Alex Thiesen
Flame Artist: David Jahns
VFX Producer: Nathanael Horton
Titles/Graphics: David Jahns

Music+Sound Company: JOINT
Composer: Noah Woodburn
Sound Designer: Noah Woodburn
Producer: Sarah Fink