Nike Lets Users Remix TV Spot

NEW YORK Nike is inviting users to create their own videos with snippets of its new TV spot touting its Air Force 25 sneaker line.

Visitors to will be able to choose from numerous video snippets and different soundtracks to create their own commercials, up to one minute in length. All clips close with “The second coming” Air Force 25 tagline and the Nike swoosh logo. The videos can be downloaded, e-mailed to friends or even sent via cell phone.

Nike is keeping a tight rein on the videos created, not giving users the ability to add their own footage, text or music. Allowing such creative freedom dogged Chevrolet last year, as several mashers dissed the Tahoe in spots created online through a Chevy-sponsored site.

New York independent Web shop Sarkissian Mason built the “videocard” application, assembling the clips from Wieden + Kennedy’s 60-second TV commercial that debuted last week. The spot shows 10 Nike-sponsored players, including Steve Nash, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, in a pickup game set in an airbase hangar.

Video mash-ups have become staples of YouTube, where users take bits of videos and combine them with music to create their own compilations (including several career retrospectives of NBA players). Nearly all of those creations, however, are unauthorized usages of footage and music.

Advertisers are attempting to tap into the trend. For example, Yahoo last September bought Web video editing house JumpCut in order to run brand promotions around mash-ups. Thus far, it has launched such efforts for EA Sports, Fox Atomic and the Doritos Super Bowl ad competition.

Even though just 15 percent of U.S. mobile users have the ability to play videos on their phones, Nike’s mobile application demonstrates how brands can reach a tech-savvy audience, said Patrick Sarkissian, president of Sarkissian Mason.

“The U.S. market is one that evolves very rapidly,” he said. “Technology like this helps convince those on the cusp that they should have the next type of technology.”