W+K Tokyo and Nike Tell Viewers: ‘Don’t Know Your Place’

By Erik Oster 

W+K Tokyo launched a new campaign for Nike in Japan with a spot that redefines the phrase “Minohodoshirazu,” which translates to “Don’t know your place.” While the term is typically used as an insult towards the overly ambitious, the anthem ad tells viewers that not knowing your place can instead be a mindset for athletes to strive for.

The 90-second spot, which will run on broadcast in a 60-second version, opens with a traditional “morning meeting” in which young students repeat phrases like “Make today another day of listening to others” and “Do not push or disrupt.” As the latter line is delivered, the scene shifts to a soccer field where a group of women is playing a game of soccer. The goalie on one of the teams races to the other team’s side of the field and scores a goal with a daring header. “Do not stray off your path,” the schoolchildren continue as a cross country runner races past the competition.

The action speeds up with quick shots of impressive athletic feats as the children repeat “Remember your place” and the spot finally concludes with text reading “Don’t know your place,” followed by Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline.

American viewers may not fully understand all the cultural implications, but there’s no denying that the approach is a compelling one.


“Don’t Know Your Place,” which was directed by Omri Cohen, manages to balance the children repeating their routine morning meeting pronouncements with shots of athletic achievements that run counter to the messages of compliance and not pushing the limits exceptionally well. The footage of the goalie pushing upfield to score a goal is an especially effective expression of the message, as her defiance of the norms of her position allows her to help her team with her daring feat.  Professional soccer player Ryotaro Ito, mid-long distance runner Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu, basketball player Tomoya Ochiai and dancer Koharu Sugawara all appear in the spot, as well as in OOH components and online “Minohodoshirazu Stories” spots supporting the effort.

Executive Creative Directors: Mike Farr (マイク・ファー), Tota Hasegawa (長谷川踏太)
Creative Director: Horoshi Kuyama (久山弘史), Azsa West (エイジア・ウエスト)
Art Director: Yohei Adachi (足立洋平)
Copywriter: Takeshi Amata (天田武史), Andrew Miller (アンドリュー・ミラー)
Agency Film Producer: Kana Wakabayashi (若林佳奈)
Broadcast Producer: Kosuke Sasaki (佐々木洸介)
Account Team: Ryan Johnson (ライアン・ジョンソン), Tatsuya Horikoshi (堀越達也),
Strategic Planner: Paula Bloodworth (ポーラ・ブラッドワース), Maria Correa (マリア・コーリア),
Designer: Keisuke Koumae (幸前圭祐), Ayano Takase (高瀬綾乃), Daisuke Asada (浅田大輔),
Digital Producer: Reiko Kawaguchi (川口玲子)
Production Assistant: Joaquin Zuluaga (ホアキン・ズルアガ)
Studio Manager: Lizzie Murray (リズィ・マリー)
Production Manager: Yoko Onodera (小野寺陽子)
PR: Maiko Nishikawa (西川末依子)
Translator: Mako Tomita (富田まこ), Takuro Kobayashi (小林拓郎), Toshiko Iida (飯田淑子)

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Dictionary Films Tokyo
Director: Omri Cohen(オムリ・コーエン)
Producer” Peter Grasse(ピーター・グラス)
Line Producer” Naoko Miyamoto (宮本奈緒子)
DOP: Kristof Brandl(クリストフ・ブランドル)
Gaffer: Hideki Tateno(舘野ヒデキ)
Grip: Shoichi Mawatari(馬渡章一)
Production Design / Props: Satoko Saito(齋藤佐都子)Takako Maeda (前田高子) Casey Yoneyama (米山敬史郎) Itaru Hagino (萩野格) Eriko Wakabayashi (若林恵梨子)
Production Assistant: Anna Liu
Stylist: Misaki Hamabe (浜辺みさき) Shinobu Yamazaki(山崎忍)
Hair & Makeup: Yuka Shimizu(清水友香)
Locations Manager: Yusuke Morikawa(森川雄介)
Production Manager: Shunsaku Mayama(真山俊作)
Casting Director: Yoko Yamashita (山下葉子), Oi-chan (及川恵)
VO: B-PRO (Bプロ)

Retail Film Director: Tao Tajima (田島太雄)
Retail Film Producer: Masanobu Nagakura (永倉政信)

Editor: Ryan McGuire(ライアン・マクガイア)
Post Producer: Megumi Irino(入野恵)
Online Artist: Yusaku Yasuda(安田 雄策)
Colorist: Ben Conkey(ベン・コンキー)
Assistant Editor: Sachi Sasaki(佐々木幸, Luc-Yan Picker(ルックヤン・ピッカー)
Colorist Assistant: Toshiki Kamei(亀井俊貴, Federico Capogreco(フレディー・カポグレコ)
Online Assistant: Tomomi Ogawa(小川知巳)
Sound Designer/ Mixer: Eric Widmark (エリック・ウィドマーク)

MUSIC: Piano Inc.
Producer: Keisuke “Tommy” Tominaga(冨永恵介)
Composer: Nozomu Yoneda(米田望)
Mixer: Yasuhiro Tsurusaki(鶴崎康宏)
Sound Recording: Yasuhiro Tsurusaki(鶴崎康宏)

Producer: Wataru Ito (伊藤渉)
Assistant Producer: Yusuke Hino (日野裕介)
Photographer(人物): Munetaka Tokuyama (徳山宗孝)
Photographer(プロダクト): Kiyoshi Obara (小原清)
Retoucher Keigo Masaki (正木啓五)
Stylist: YUJI KUDO (工藤祐司),  NAOHIRO MATSUNOSHITA (松野下直大) (mahna mahna)