Ad of the Day: Nike

Roger Federer kills it for W+K as he meets his toughest opponent yet

The consensus around these parts over the years has been that Roger Federer is a singularly awkward brand spokesman. But that's not entirely fair.

All you have to do to make a successful Federer spot is make it as pleasantly goofy as he is, limit his speaking lines to approximately zero, and find a costar who won't overshadow him.

You can tick off all three boxes with this new spot from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., for the Nike Free sneaker. The ad shows the 31-year-old, 17-time Grand Slam singles winner locked in one of the more brutal showdowns of his storied career—as he tries to swat a pesky fly in his lovely, spacious Swiss home.

The shoe is apparently uniquely flexible, and so is the commercial, directed by Furlined's Adam Hashemi. Its 45 seconds give it room to breathe, allowing both the faux-suspense and the comedy to build (the shot from outside the home, with Federer poking the broom at the ceiling, is a particularly strong one). It also gives the sneakers some decent airtime as well.

The problem is not that Federer isn't charming—he is. It's that most commercials call for him for actually attempt acting, which is a disaster waiting to happen. Instead, this spot plays to his strengths—giving him a few hero shots, an uncomplicated plot he can tackle lightheartedly, and a chance to show off his athleticism. In those things, he remains undiminished, even in the twilight of his career.

The ad is part of a larger campaign that also included the earlier spots "Cat Flap" featuring Gabby Douglass and "Toy Claw" featuring Ashton Eaton and Allyson Felix. See those ads below as well.

CREDITS

Client: Nike

—Spot: "Running Free/Fly Swatter"

Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O'Rourke

Copywriter: Jeff Salomonsson

Art Director: Sara Philips

Producer: Chris Capretto

Executive Agency Producer: Matt Hunnicutt

Account Team: Catherine Wolpe, Vanessa Miller

Executive Creative Directors: Susan Hoffman, Joe Staples

PRODUCTION

Production Company: Furlined

Director: Adam Hashemi

President: Diane McArter

Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins

Line Producer: Ben Mann

Director of Photography: Toby Irwin

EDITORIAL

Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors

Editor: Kirk Baxter

Assistant Editor: Nate Gross

Post Producer: Toby Louie

Post Executive Producer: CL Weaver

VFX

VFX Company: The Mill

Lead 3D Artist: Michael Panov

Lead 2D Artist: Daniel Thuresson

Smoke Artist: Scott Johnson

Exeutive Producer: Sue Troyan

VFX Producer: Christina Thompson

COLOR

Color Company: Company 3

Colorist: Sofie Borup

MUSIC + SOUND DESIGN

Music+Sound Company: Trinitite Inc

Written by: Mozart

Sound Designer: Brian Emrich

Song: Requiem in D Minor perf by Leipziger, Schreier, Dresden

 

AUDIO

Mix Company: Lime Studios

Mixer: Rohan Young

Assistant Mixer: Jeff Malen

Producer: Jessica Locke

—Spots: "Cat Flap," "Toy Claw"

Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke

Copywriters: Jeff Salomonsson (Cat Flap, Toy Claw), Dylan Lee (Toy Claw only)

Art Director: Sara Phillips

Senior Producer: Jennie Lindstrom

Associate Producer: Kirsten Acheson

Account Team: Catherine Wolpe, Vanessa Miller

Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples, Susan Hoffman

Executive Producer: Matt Hunnicutt

PRODUCTION

Production Company: Furlined

Director: Adam Hashemi

President: Diane McArter

Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins

Line Producer: Pete Vitale (Toy Claw, Cat Flap)

Director of Photography: Toby Irwin

EDITORIAL

Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors

Editor: Kirk Baxter

Asst. Editor: Nate Gross

Post Producer: Toby Louie

Post Executive Producer: CL Weaver

COLOR/TELECINE