Spike Lee on the Spike Lee Brand

Filmmaker receives lifetime achievement award for marketing work

Spike Lee started building his brand with a call from Wieden + Kennedy. After wrapping his first feature film, the 1986 cult classic She’s Gotta Have It, Lee remembers how Wieden executives reached out when he was broke and living in a pre-gentrification Fort Greene in Brooklyn, N.Y. “They said they saw my character [Mars Blackmon] and wanted me to direct TV commercials. That came out of nowhere,” Lee said last Thursday. What resulted was a series of iconic ads that helped propel both brand Nike and brand Spike to the forefront of American pop culture.