Usain Bolt Competes Against 'Future Sports Heroes' for Allianz

Taking a page from Bo Jackson's playbook

Bolt knows table tennis? Not so much, actually.

German financial services firm Allianz Direct channels Bo Jackson's famous George H.W. Bush-era cross-training ads from Nike—sort of—for a campaign that pits Usain Bolt against youngsters in various sports.

Back in the day, Jackson, a standout in football and baseball, lightheartedly displayed his prowess across many different fields of play. Michael Jordan, John McEnroe and Wayne Gretzky, among others, were on hand to gape at Bo's abilities.

For Allianz, however, Bolt's the only elite athlete on screen. The sprinting icon takes on "Future Sports Heroes" in Ping-Pong, basketball, diving and, finally, running.

Jackson kicked butt every time. Bolt, on the other hand ...

Allianz Direct | Future Heroes

... needs to work on his serve. And hook shot. Maybe put in a little extra time at the pool, too. Ah well, as Nike taught us more recently in spots with athletes failing at unfamiliar sports, just doing it can yield rewards.

"We were on the lookout for an internationally recognizable superstar, and found that in Usain Bolt," Jorn Kruijsen, creative lead at independent agency Alfred, tells Muse. "He has retired from running, and now has all the time in the world to reinvent himself."

"Allianz Direct see themselves as an enabler for people that are living their lives to the fullest, going places, and who don't want to deal with a slow, large insurance company," Kruijsen says. "Allianz is a relatively new player in town. This ad will build their awareness very fast."

As fast as Usain Bolt still runs 100 meters?

Check out the BTS clip below, as Bolt defeats Hobby director Oskar Bård, DOP Snorre Ruhe and Nigel (the kid from the running sequence and an age-group champion) in a friendly race during a filming break.

Allianz Direct | Future Heroes BTS

"Bolt won quite easily, but only because I gave up halfway and returned to the set," quips Bård. "I very much regret that. Should have given my best and beaten Usain."

Bård knows directing. That's what counts!

CREDITS

Title: Future Sports Heroes
Client: Allianz Direct
Client: Ron Adams, Natasja Staal, Steffie van der Velde
Product: Allianz Direct
Length in seconds: 50"
Agency: ALFRED International
Account: Daniëlle Boskemper, Stéphanie Freitag
Concept: Jorn Kruijsen, Jeroen van de Sande, Rogier Mahieu
Art Director: Jorn Kruijsen
Copywriters: Jeroen van de Sande, Rogier Mahieu
Agency Producer: Carmen Ramsaran
Production Company: Hobby Film
Line Production: Chubby Unicorn
Director: Oskar Bård
Executive Producer: Remco den Hartog
Line Producer: Dace Siatkovska
D.O.P.: Snorre Fuglsang Ruhe
Set editor: Gatis Belogrudovs
Editor: Martin Heijgelaar, Jorien Voogt, Pim van der Pas
Music: MassiveMusic
Sound: Ambassadors
Post Production: Ambassadors
Grading: Jean-Clément Soret, MPC

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