Using a Bob Marley Classic, Oakley Shows the Unifying Power of Sports

The commercial puts a modern spin on a timeless song

Oksana Masters Oakley commercial
The commercial inspires unity through a common love of sports. Oakley

Through attractive highlight reels, a tribute to the king of reggae and a few words of encouragement from professional athletes, Oakley is the latest brand hoping to instill a glimmer of hope in humanity.

The latest installment of its 2020 For the Love of Sport Campaign, created by AKQA, features a powerful remake of Bob Marley’s 55-year-old song One Love by British-Jamaican singer-songwriter Celeste.

It’s what one would expect for any number of sports companies—montages of the brand’s athletes and inspiring words—but Oakley’s plea for a more unified world is especially welcoming in a time short of much positivity.

“Sport has the power to evoke emotion, whether participating or spectating,” said Ben Goss, Oakley’s global marketing director, in a statement. “And the world is in a fragile place right now. By sharing what drives us and our athletes, this love of sport, our hope is that it can have a positive impact on uplifting the community.”

Oakley’s marketing team worked with its athletes, including Diamond DeShields, Ryan Sheckler and Oksana Masters, to better understand their common ground. They found that sports can help people push through boundaries and overcome adversity, even in the most challenging times.

“When diving into the athletes’ stories, we witness the strength of their love of sport—and what it can endure,” said AKQA creative director Clement Vidal in the statement.

Lines such as “passion and patience, in the end you will see, the more you give, the more you receive” are supported by footage of athletes who got back on their feet after suffering career-threatening injuries.

While lyrics were tweaked, and a new sound was established, the commercial and song channel Marley’s plea for society to “join together and feel alright.”

“The rewrite of the iconic song ‘One Love’ seeks to amplify these stories and voices, through an uplifting anthem; an homage to the love of sport to inspire the next generation of athletes and beyond,” said Vidal.

“Sport, specifically soccer, was my dad’s favorite love after music,” added Ziggy Marley, Bob Marley’s son, in the statement. “The world really needs love right now, and we’re thrilled to work with Oakley on this amazing reinterpretation of ‘One Love,’ so it can be meaningful to a new generation during a time when it’s needed most.” 

Emmy is an Adweek contributor who is completing her journalism degree at The College of New Jersey with minors in Spanish and broadcast journalism.