Nike's New Ad Is an Editing Marvel, and Maybe the Best Covid Spot Yet

W+K's seamless ode to the unifying power of sport

Think repurposed footage is boring? Have a look at Wieden + Kennedy Portland's stunning new Nike commercial, stitched together completely from archival video.

The W+K team—working with Pulse Films director Oscar Hudson, Joint editors Peter Wiedensmith and Jessica Baclesse, and the visual effects team at A52—researched 4,000 sports action sequences and chose 72 of them to combine into 36 split-screen moments, where the action on both sides appears to meld into one.

The astonishing editing work is a great way to deliver the message—about the unifying power of sport, at a time when the specter of Covid still hangs heavily over all professional sports leagues' best-laid plans; and about the pursuit of an equal playing field by athletes looking to create change.

The writing (credited to W+K copywriter Dylan Lee) is top-notch, too, with the voiceover delivered by Megan Rapinoe.

Along with everyday athletes, the spot features stars such as Rapinoe, LeBron James, Naomi Osaka, Eliud Kipchoge, Caster Semenya, Cristiano Ronaldo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Serena Williams, Colin Kaepernick and Kylian Mbappé.

"Players may be back on the pitch, but we are not going back to an old normal. We need to continue to reimagine this world and make it better," says Rapinoe in a statement. "We have all these people in the streets, using their voices, and those voices are being heard. I ask people to be energized by this moment and not let up. I believe it's everybody's responsibility to advocate for change."

Nike has put out some remarkable advertising throughout the pandemic, beginning with the "Play Inside, Play for the World" campaign back in March. That was followed by this April spot saluting the millions of at-home athletes in quarantine; the "Never Too Far Down" spot voiced by James (which introduced the "You Can't Stop Us" theme; and this stark meditation on racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. 


PROJECT NAME You Can't Stop Us

Executive Creative Directors Jason Bagley, Eric Baldwin
Creative Directors Alberto Ponte, Ryan O'Rourke
Copywriter Dylan Lee
Art Director Naoki Ga
Director of Production Matt Hunnicutt
Executive Producers Jake Grand, Krystle Mortimore
Senior Producers Katie McCain, Byron T. Oshiro
Associate Producers Samson Selam, Shani Storey
Global Brand Director André Gustavo
Brand Director Kate Rutkowski
Brand Manager Paanii Annan
Creative Operations Managers Saba Spencer, David Ramirez
Global Group Strategy Director Andy Lindblade, Paula Bloodworth
Media Team Danny Sheniak, Reme Debisschop, Emily Dalton, Vivian Zhang, Graham Wallace, Claudia Iraheta
Brand Strategy Directors Nathan Goldberg, AJ Blumenthal
Business Affairs Karen Crossley, Edith Ortiz, Emily Kahn
Broadcast Traffic Sabrina Reddy, Billy Mucha
Design Ops Manager/Design Producer Alicia Kuna, Michael Rosenau, Michael Frediani
Studio Designers Joan Comellas, Jamon Sin, Mitch Wilson

Production Company Pulse Films
Director Oscar Hudson
DP Logan Triplett
Executive Producers Darren Foldes, Davud Karbassioun
Managing Director Hillary Rogers
Line Producer Dennis Beier
Production Designer Adam Wilson
Key Costumer Chris Araujo

Company JOINT
Editor Peter Wiedensmith, Jessica Baclesse
Cutting Assistant Jasmine McCullough, JC Nuñez
Assistant Editor Charlie Harrington, Kris Faris, Luke Buckley
After Effects Ben Corbin, Damian Riddell
Footage Researcher Izzie Raitt
Post Executive Producer Leslie Carthy
Post Producer Kathleen Russell
Post Production Coordinator Aubree VanDercar

Company A52
VFX Supervisor Patrick Murphy
Lead Flame Patrick Murphy
2D VFX Artists Urs Furrer, Stefan Gaillot, Matt Sousa, Steve Wolff, Hugh Seville, Richard Hirst, Adam Flynn, Michael Vaglienty, Enid Dalkoff, Kevin Stokes, Dan Ellis, Chris Riley, Rod Basham, Shauna Prescott, Susanne Scharping
CG Supervisor Andy Wilkoff
CG Modeler Dustin Mellum
3D Trackers Joe Chiechi, Michael Cardenas, Mike Bettinardi
Online Editor Kevin Stokes, Chris Riley, Sam Kolber
Managing Director Jennifer Sofio Hall
VFX Executive Producers Patrick Nugent, Kim Christensen
VFX Producer Everett Cross, Andrew Rosenberger, and Jillian Lynes

Color Company A52
Colorist Daniel De Vue
Color Assists Corey Martinez, Dylan Bursick
Color Executive Producer Thatcher Peterson
Color Producer Jenny Bright

Artists Cowboys in Japan
Song Daylight

Sound Design Company JOINT
Sound Designer Noah Woodburn
Audio Assistant Natalie Huizenga
Executive Producer Leslie Carthy

Mix Company JOINT
Audio Mixer Noah Woodburn
Audio Assist Natalie Huizenga
Executive Producer Leslie Carthy

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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