Nike Asks the Public to ‘Play’ in $25 Mil. Campaign

Remember ing that all sports started as simple games, Nike is launching a $25 million summer campaign built around the theme “Play.”

The work reflects a softer approach to promoting the brand, said Nike director of brand initiatives Dave Larson. The idea is that a teenager dribbling a basketball and kids playing hide-and-seek at the playground are strutting their stuff just as much as the pros.

In “Tag,” a TV spot that broke last week, a man casually strolls along a busy urban street when he is tagged on the shoulder. As everyone runs away, he begins a frenzied search to find someone to tag.

Created by the sportswear maker’s longtime agency, Wieden + Ken nedy in Portland, Ore., the campaign does not signal a shift away from the famous “Just do it” theme, said Larson. Instead, it aims to contemporize that slogan.

The company has left open the possibility that “Just do it” could eventually return.

Although the effort targets teens, Larson said it also aims to reach any one who is youthful in attitude.

The national campaign is set to run through Labor Day. Included are print, outdoor, radio and online, as well as special “street sport” events.

Asked if “Play” will continue into the fall, copywriter Mike Byrne said it will be a game of wait and see.