Cannes Lions

Hey Google, Ask Nike

R/GA , New York / NIKE / 2019

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

In January 2019, Nike unveiled their most futuristic shoe ever — the Nike Adapt BB — a power-lacing basketball sneaker designed to automatically find the perfect fit. Nike challenged us to launch “the most futuristic shoe in the most futuristic way, ever” so that fans could have a chance to get a pair before everyone else. We created the first ever voice-activated shoe drop — a live broadcast turn e-commerce experience that prompted the Adapt BBs to sell out in 6 minutes.

Idea

To give fans early access to the power-lacing Adapt BB, Nike teamed up with Google and created the first ever live, in-game shopping experience where anyone could shop the game by asking Google Assistant.

Nike hyped the voice-powered shoe release through social and digital out-of-home takeovers — priming fans to interact with Google Assistant. NBA stars Jayson Tatum and Kyle Kuzma answered fan questions in custom videos on the platform, then debuted the shoes during the game on TNT. The shoes received prominent coverage — including a courtside segment, on-screen messages to get people talking with Google Assistant, and a halftime show takeover where commentator Ernie Johnson announced to fans could buy the shoes if they asked Google Assistant how to get a pair.

The shoe sold out in six minutes, lighting up a new way for fans to shop what their favorite athletes are wearing.

Strategy

Power-lacing sneakers needed authenticating in sport. Nike’s innovation was so ahead of its time that power-lacing sneakers occupied a space in the audience’s imagination somewhere between hoverboards and time travel.

Truth is - the Adapt BB’s are a legit basketball performance sneaker. The audience needed to know that this is a next gen sneaker, for the next gen NBA superstar. It’s authentic home is the hardwood.

To bring this kind of product to market, we had to reimagine the drop. Nike partnered with Google and Turner to introduce the Adapt BBs to the world, but instead of a thumping TVC, leveraged the only media this audience watches live: the game itself.

With that media moment in mind, Nike’s new tech launched with Google’s newest tech – Google Home — and, in partnership with Turner, turned an NBA game into the first-ever real-time, voice activated product launch.

Execution

We designed the Nike Adapt BB on Google Assistant experience, featuring custom content of Nike athletes Kyle Kuzma and Jayson Tatum, to enable the first ever voice-activated shoe drop.

Anticipation was built pre-drop with creative running across a number of social media channels and in key digital out-of-home placements, inviting our audience to ask Google Assistant questions about both the shoes and the future of footwear.

During the game, the Adapt BBs took center court on the feet of both Kuzma and Tatum during the Lakers/Celtics game. On-screen snipes ran throughout the first half, inviting viewers to ask “What is Kyle Kuzma wearing on court?”. Then, during the half-time show, Shaq and crew gave viewers a closer look at the shoe and debuted the live drop with the unique voice command, allowing users to get the shoe in seconds using just their voice.

Outcome

Here are some results of the activation:

The Nike Adapt BB sold out in six minutes

335,150 swipes/clicks

51,555,570 impressions

2+ million live game viewers

No. 3-rated NBA game on TNT

Invented an entirely new way of shopping

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