Ad of the Day: Nike+

W+K and Adam Berg turn your world into a video game in sublime new spots

Thanks to Nike+, exercise is officially a video game.

That's the clear message delivered in two eye-catching new ads for Nike+ FuelBand from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. The FuelBand product—an accelerometer you wear on your wrist that tracks your activity and energy expenditures and translates them into "Nike Fuel"—has extended the gaming aspects of Nike's relationship with consumers introduced with the original Nike+. More than ever, it's all about racking up points and getting to the next level. So, the ads embrace that—presenting one's workout as a virtual game made real (well, hyperbolic but real-ish), with the athletes running around a city filled with buzzers and platforms and virtual opponents and even a guy throwing flaming barrels at you, Donkey Kong style.

The spots, directed by Smuggler's Adam Berg—whose great reel includes the Philips "Carousel" spot and TalkTalk's "Homes Within Homes"—are a visual delight. Finely detailed, futuristic in their atmosphere but playful in tone, they make working out seem like fun, which is sort of the whole point. Nike's mission is aspirational wrapped inside practical—self-improvement through the addictive craving for data. Gaming has always relied on the latter; now it's just being put to a healthier use. The tagline reflects this optimism with an aggressive call to action: "Game on, world."

Much has been made of the idea that Nike products are their own best marketing. In Cannes last month, Nike's Stefan Olander came close to scoffing at traditional communications relative to the self-perpetuating power of the company's new "ecosystem" of products and services. But rousing commercials still have their place. These two get a high score.

CREDITS

Client – Nike Global

Agency – Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

SPOT – "Game On, World"

Creative Directors – Alberto Ponte / Ryan O'Rourke / Dan Hon

Copywriter – Antony Goldstein

Art Director – Bertrand Fleuret

Producer – Jeff Selis / Liam Doherty

Account Team – Liam Doherty / Alyssa Ramsey

Executive Creative Directors – Mark Fitzloff / Susan Hoffman

Agency Executive Producer – Ben Grylewicz

Production Company – Smuggler

Director – Adam Berg

Partners/Management – Patrick Milling Smith (Partner) / Brian Carmody (Partner) / Lisa Rich (COO/EP)

Line Producer – Karen O'Brien

Director of Photography – Joost van Gelder

Editorial Company – Cosmo Street

Editor – Paul Hardcastle

Post Producer – Esther Gonzalez

VFX Company – MPC

Managing Director – Andrew Bell (LA)

VFX Supervisor – Paul O'Shea (LA) / Daniel Marsh (LA)

Executive Producer – Asher Edwards (LA)

VFX Leads – Paul O'Shea (LA) / Daniel Marsh (LA) / Alex Lovejoy (NY) / Dean Robinson (NY) / Rob Walker (Lnd)

VFX Producer – Susan Kurtz (LA) / Louisa Cartwright (NY) / Anandi Peiris (Lnd)

Titles/Graphics – Casey McIntyre (LA) / Ben Persons (LA)

Telecine Company – MPC

Colorist – Mark Gethin (LA)

Music+Sound Company – Lime

Composer – Game On, World :60/:30 – The Seeds

Sound Designer – Jeff Sudakin

Song (if applicable) – The Seeds – "Pushin' Too Hard"

Mix Company – Lime

Mixer – Loren Silber

Producer – Jessica Locke

SPOT – "Run Your City"

Creative Directors – Alberto Ponte / Ryan O'Rourke / Dan Hon

Copywriter – Antony Goldstein

Art Director – Bertrand Fleuret