‘Just Do It’ Is Easier Said Than Done in Nike’s Fun New Ad Campaign

Athletes set absurd obstacles for themselves in latest from W+K

Headshot of Tim Nudd

“Just Do It” has always been an entreaty to face up to daunting athletic challenges and break through with sheer force of will. But in Nike’s new ads, athletes seem fairly undaunted from the start—and intentionally make their workouts more grueling, and “Just Do It” that much harder to accomplish.

Four new spots for the Australian market from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., feature athletes going to ridiculous lengths to banish the easy way out. Their antics include handcuffing themselves to faster runners, triggering alarms in public places, even destroying (or threatening to destroy) their own personal property—all but compelling themselves to “Just Do It,” whether they really want to or not.

See the spots here:


There are a couple of celebs in the ads: Australian rugby league player James Tedesco and Australian distance runner Gen Lacaze. And while the scenarios are outlandish, and not very relatable, the humor is wry enough to work. And the larger message of setting ever more difficult goals for oneself comes through crystal clear.

The campaign includes a big outdoor and digital campaign, including the Glebe Sydney silos and the MCG in Melbourne. That work takes the interesting approach of looking vandalized, with messages of caution and surrender getting scrawled out with a marker, and “Just Do It” hastily added instead.

Client: Nike

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Global Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke, Dan Viens
Copywriter: Alex Romans
Art Director: Sara Phillips
Agency Executive Producer: Matt Hunnicutt
Senior Agency Producer: Erin Goodsell, Shelley Eisner
Agency Production Assistant:
Digital Producer: Amy Berriochoa
Art Production Assistant: Shani Storey
Creative Manager: Simone Takasaki
Studio Designer: David Chathas, Miyu Shirotsuka
Studio Retouching: Frazer Goodby, Amy Cocoran, Lilly Archer
Production Designers: Rob Mufmord, Bianca Hansrote
Print Producer: Denise Hangii
Motion: Alex Bernard, Dennis Samatulski, Jaime Flores
Strategic Planning: Irina Tone, Paula Bloodworth
Media/Comms Planning: Lisa Johnson, Ryan Craven
Account Team: Chris Willingham, Luiza Prata Carvalho, Patrick Gulliford
Business Affairs: Amber Lavender
Broadcast Traffic: Andrea Sierra, Tim Bell

Production Company: US/MJZ, AUS/Walkabout Films
Director: Steve Ayson
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson Lizzy Nash
Bidding Producer: Amy Keamon – MJZ
Line Producer: Jude Lengel – Walkabout Films
Director of Photography: Germain McMicking
Production Designer: Jeremy Fuller

Editorial Company: Exile
Editor: Grant Surmi
Assistant Editor: Dusten Zimmerman
Post Producer: Brittany Carson
Executive Post Producer: CL Weaver

VFX Company: The Mill
Lead Artist: Tim Davies/Andy Dill
VFX Producer: Erin Hicke
VFX Executive Producer: Enca Kaul

Color Company: The Mill
Colorist: Adam Scott
Color Producer: Diane Valera

Licensed Music
Track Name: Cliff spot. Music on the radio
Ural Thomas & The Pain – Pain (Is The Name Of Your Game) = 3 seconds
Courtney Barnett – How To Boil An Egg = 3 seconds

Sound Design Company: Lime
Sound Designer: Rohan Young
Producer: Susie Boyajan

Music/Sound/Mix Company: Lime Studios
Audio Mixer: Rohan Young
Audio Assistant: Ben Tomastik
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.