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Brief Published: 23 May 2022

Nike’s 50th Anniversary: Ads, Archives & Activations

Spotlighting how to harness heritage while championing future innovation, Nike’s 50th anniversary celebrations will comprise archival unveilings as well as member-exclusive in-real-life (IRL) activations and app programming. Centred around a nostalgia-meets-right-now campaign – directed by and starring legendary filmmaker and long-time collaborator Spike Lee – the celebrations are part of 2022’s overarching Never Done theme.

  • Spike Lee-Starring Spot: The video campaign Seen It All, directed by and starring Spike Lee, focuses on both historic sporting achievements and a new generation of heroes. It features Lee reprising his famous Mars Blackmon role – from She’s Gotta Have It (1986) and subsequent Nike ads – alongside Indigo Hubbard-Salk, from the TV version of She’s Gotta Have It (2017-19).

    Created by long-time Nike partner, global creative agency Wieden + Kennedy, the pair play chess in Brooklyn Community Park, with Lee recounting historic moments and Hubbard-Salk telling him of rising stars. It ends with Hubbard-Salk checkmating Lee, saying: “Look OG, no disrespect. I know you think you’ve seen everything, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.” 
  • Never Done – Archival Reveal: Trading on its 2022 Never Done tagline ­­– which sees Nike aim to assert an ethos of constant innovation – the brand’s archive, Department of Nike Archives, has released a series of articles. These include ‘Never Done Imagining: The Power of Air’ on the creation of the Air sneaker, and ‘Never Done Inspiring: Ad Revolution’, tracking 50 years of ad campaigns.

  • App Membership Exclusives: The brand’s apps (Nike, Nike Run Club, Nike Training Club and SNKRS) are running five days of subscriber exclusives, from free customisation to (details TBA – NB: will check back in on Friday before brief runs) IRL member meetings.

For more on brand anniversary concepts, see Saint Laurent in Miami Art Week 2021: Best Brand Experiences and Louis Vuitton: 200 Innovators for Bicentennial Activations.

 Also see Cosmopolitan’s 50th anniversary in AdWeek Europe 2022, publishing on May 31.