Wieden Grows Nike Role In Japan

The 4-year-old Wieden & Kennedy/McCann-Erickson alliance for Nike in Japan appears to be fraying. Wieden’s 20 or so staffers have moved into separate offices.
The change, however, is more than one of location. While Japanese McCann creative staffers used to work closely with Wieden in developing Nike TV spots, the latest round of ads was created exclusively by Wieden. McCann continues to handle Japanese media.
“We’ll be getting involved in a wider range of activities for Nike than just TV advertising; indeed, every aspect of the business where they feel we can help,” said David Miller, managing director of Wieden in Tokyo, who moved his staff this summer. “We’ll also be doing some work for other Asian markets, working to a Pan-Asian brief.”
Separately, the office’s longtime creative director, Larry Frey, has left the agency to return to the U.S. to direct TV spots at radical.media in New York. Frey has been replaced by veteran Wieden creative/art director and partner John Jay, who has been with the agency’s Portland, Ore., headquarters for five years.
A new, four-spot TV branding campaign broke in Japan earlier this month. The wordless campaign’s tag translates as “Bend the rules, a bit.”
The spots, shot in black-and-white, are lighthearted. In one, the country’s top soccer players enjoy a game of basketball. –with staff reports