Basketball Jonestown

To create spots for Nike to air during the NCAA basketball tournament, Wieden & Kennedy went to the town where farm-fresh basketball shoes are sold at the market.
The Portland, Ore., shop’s spots, which broke nationally Feb. 26, depict life in the fictional village of Bracketville. With streets mapped like NCAA betting-pool brackets, the town is consumed by basketball. Even the drive-in shows college-hoops games instead of movies.
Five ads are airing through March on network and cable TV, some featuring cameos by such personalities as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw.
Nike representative Scott Reames said the ads have been well-received, especially when coupled with the print campaign. Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike placed inserts in college newspapers urging students to vote for Bracketville “mayor” at www.Nike.-com/Bracketville; there, they can also send e-mail postcards.
Shop copywriter Ian Cohen and art director Matt Peterson helped create the spots. Peterson said a challenge in making the campaign was to do it without using any real NCAA basketball players. He added that Bracketville was not based on any real town.
–Bill Jensen
and Simon Butler