W+K Shanghai and Jordan Brand Focus on the Smaller Moments

By Patrick Coffee 

Did you know that this year marks Air Jordan’s 30th anniversary?

So it does–and Wieden+Kennedy’s offices in Shanghai just released a new take on the classic sneaker brand’s ads.

The two-minute spot “The Winning Moment” diverges from the classic sports equation, focusing not on the winning shots but on the moments of silence that preceded all the fanfare. In fact, it starts with the final buzzer and moves backwards to long before the game began.


As a certain former basketball player puts it, “it wasn’t the coach’s halftime pep talk” or “hustle” that won the game in question–it was the second in which the player decided that he was going to rule the court that night.

So the answer is…determination?

This spot is part of the “We Are Jordan” global campaign, but it’s definitely more epic and somber than, say, recent ads starring Blake Griffin and Marvin the Martian.

As W+K Shanghai CD Terence Leong puts it:

“This is the first time we created a story for Jordan Brand in China. We want to celebrate the legacy of the brand, the love for the game and the beauty of competition. Our goal is to create a basketball film that will blow people’s minds. The film is a classic story of two rival teams clashing at the finals and giving it all to win, except we tell it backwards.”

CD Azsa West explains things further:

“Compared to kids in the States, Chinese kids are little bit shy. I think this film will encourage them to have the determination and courage to win. It’s all about having the confidence to go out there and win.”

In emphasizing the less glamorous moments of competitive sports, it’s the conceptual kin of the agency’s most recent ad for Nike running–but in this case we only focus on the winners. That’s how Jordan himself would prefer it anyway.

There’s more work to come for the brand in China, and this was a good start.


Agency: Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai
Executive Creative Directors: Yang Yeo Creative
Director: Terence Leong / Azsa West
Copywriters: Jimmy Chen / Shaun Sundholm
Art Director: Shaun Sundholm
Executive Producer: Angie Wong
Assistant Producer: Fang Yuan
Designer: Timothy Cheng/Kevin Lunsong
Print Production: Vic Zhang / Robin Liu
Retoucher: Changqing Lee
Agency Editor: Hiro Ikematsu
Planners: Leon Lin / Paula Bloodsworth
Business Director: Dino Xu
Account Manager: Chuck Xu
Account Executive: Sasa Yang
Project Manager: Nicole Bee
Business Affairs: Jessica Deng/Kathy Zhan

Production Company: Smuggler / Lunar Films
Director: Brian Beletic
Executive Producer Smuggler: Patrick Milling Smith / Brian Carmody / Fergus Brown / Chris Barrett / Lisa Tauscher
Executive Producer Lunar Films: Ken Yap
Line Producer: Suza Horvat
Director of Photography: Dion Beebe
Post Producer: Fred Raimondi
Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Biff Butler
Executive Producer: Angela Dorian
Post Producer: Christopher Noviello
Assistant Editors: Alyssa Oh, Josh Hayes

VFX: A52
VFX Supervisor / Lead Flame Artist: Andy Bate
2D VFX Artists: Cameraon Coombs, Michael Plescia, Richard Hirst, Christel Hazard, Dan Ellis
Flame Assistants: Gabe Sanchez, Erik Rojas
Producer: Zach Wakefield
Head of Production: Kim Christenson
Executive Producer: Patrick Nugent
Original Music, Sound Design and Mix: Barking Owl
Creative Director: Kelly Bayett
Composer: Seth Olinsky
Sound Designer and Mixer: Rommel Molina