Nike and Serena Williams Redefine What It Means to Call a Female Athlete Crazy

Spot, airing in the Oscars, is a follow-up to Kaepernick's 'Dream Crazier' ad

Serena Williams is shown in Nike's new spot.
Serena Williams narrates Nike's ad about the obstacles and double standards faced by female athletes. Nike
Headshot of Kristina Monllos

When Nike kicked off its celebration of the 30th anniversary of its iconic “Just Do It” campaign with a two-minute spot featuring Colin Kaepernick, the brand spurred a conversation about the NFL, brand values and the short-term and long-term impact of a campaign

Now, just days after its brand-damaging shoe splitting incident, the company has unveiled its follow-up, a 90-second ad narrated by Serena Williams set to air during tonight’s Academy Awards ceremony on ABC. The spot, from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, not only champions the accomplishments of female athletes but serves as a call to action, telling viewers to “Dream Crazier.”

Nike has a long history of recognizing and highlighting female athletes,” explained a representative for Nike via email. “The ‘Dream Crazier’ spot is the start of a journey celebrating women in sport ahead of soccer’s biggest moment in France this summer. It is about helping athletes realize their full potential even in the face of adversity.” 

Athletes featured in the spot include Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Chloe Kim and members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. Williams, who starred in Nike’s 30-second Oscars spot last year, also appears in the ad. 

“The use of Serena Williams as the narrator amongst a number of athletes reflects her standing as one of the most inspirational athletes of her generation who empowers girls to continue to believe in their own crazy dream,” noted the representative. “Nike continues to champion female athletes and change the game for women in sports as it has for more than 40 years—inspiring and enabling female athletes of all levels to achieve their potential in sport and fitness.” 

The 90-second ad was directed by Kim Gehrig, who also directed a recent spot for Gillette that took on toxic masculinity.

CREDITS

CLIENT NIKE
W+K PORTLAND
Creative Directors Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke
Copywriter / Art Director Alex Romans, Emma Barnett
Integrated Production
Broadcast Producer Shelley Eisner
Production Coordinator Cole Davenport
Executive Producer Jake Grand, Krystle Mortimore
Head of Production Matt Hunnicutt, Mike Davidson
Business Affairs Emily Kahn, Laura Caldwell
Director of Business Affairs Amber Lavender
Account Team
Group Brand Director Andre Gustavo
Brand Director Luiza Prata Carvalho
Brand Executive William Frazier, Anthony Williams
Strategy
Global Group Strategy Director Andy Lindblade
Brand Strategy Director Nate Goldberg
Media
Global Media Director Daniel Sheniak
NA Media Director Reme DeBisschop
Associate Media Director Emily Graham
Media Supervisor Stephanie Campbell
Media Planner Vivian Zhang
Assistant Media Planner James Ramseur
Design Studio
Design Ops Manager Alicia Kuna
Design Producer Michael Rosenau
Designer Rob Mumford
Retoucher Frazer Goodbody
Creative Manager Zilla Peoples
Integrated Traffic Manager Tim Bell, Marie Hernandez
PRODUCTION
Company Somesuch
Partner / Managing director Sally Campbell, Tim Nash
Director Kim Gehrig
Executive Producer Nicky Barnes
Line Producer Suzie Grenne-Tedesco
Director of Photography James Laxton
Head of Production Laura Hegarty
Production Supervisor Courtney Nolen
Assistant Production Supervisor DeeAhna Hernandez
EDITORIAL
Company Joint Editorial
Editor Peter Wiedensmith
Assistant Editors Vanessa Yuille, Trevor Schulte, Kristy Faris
Post Producer Shada Shariatzadeh, Jen Milano
Executive Producer Leslie Carthy
Head of Production Patty Brebner
Sound Designer Noah Woodburn, Natalie Huizenga
VFX & Color
Company A52
VFX Supervisor Pat Murphy
2D VFX Artist(s) Adam Flynn, Richard Hirst, Rod Basham, Joey Brattesani, Andy Davis,
Dan Ellis, Kevin Stokes
Online Editor Kevin Stokes, James Buongiorno, Sam Kolber
Producer Michael Steinmann, Jillian Lynes
Production Coordinator Andrew Rosenberger
Executive Producer Kim Christensen & Patrick Nugent
Managing Director Jennifer Sofio Hall
COLOR
Company Company 3
Colorist Tom Poole
Color Producer Alexandra Lubrano
Color Assistant Jenny Montgomery
MIX
Company Eleven Studios
Mixer Jeff Young
Assistant Mixer Andrew Smith
Executive Producer Melissa Elston
Producer Imani Franklin


@KristinaMonllos kristina.monllos@adweek.com Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.
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