Nike Brings Back Mars Blackmon for Its 50th Anniversary

Actress Indigo Hubbard-Salk costars
Nike 50th Anniversary | Seen It All

UPDATE: See the full 2:30 film above. The original story is below.

Nike and Spike Lee go back to the well for the brand's new 50th anniversary commercial, resurrecting the Mars Blackmon character from their late-'80s campaign—but this isn't a straightforward exercise in nostalgia.

Mars, who first appeared in Lee's 1986 film She's Gotta Have It, opens the frenetic new spot by declaring he's "seen it all before" in sports. He name-checks some of his favorite athletes, many of whom are long retired or in the twilight of their careers—Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, Tiger Woods.

But then Indigo Hubbard-Salk, an actress who appeared in the TV version of She's Gotta Have It, gives her own view of the sports world, which is a bit more modern—checkmating Mars in the process.

"Look OG, no disrespect, I know you think you've seen everything, but you ain't seen nothing yet," she declares at the end, leaving Mars speechless.

Nike's original Mars Blackmon ads, developed by Wieden+Kennedy, began in 1988 and aired into the early '90s. The campaign helped put Nike on the map, and is considered one of the all-greats of sports advertising, with the motormouth Mars joyfully bringing Jim Riswold's scripts to life opposite Michael Jordan.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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