BBDO, Berlin / NIKE DEUTSCHLAND GMBH / 2021
Running in a city can be tough. Running in a chaotic city like Berlin even tougher. The brief was to motivate and celebrate the runners of Berlin while transporting that specific Berlin vibe, the grittiness, the open-mindedness and the honesty – all with a very small budget as this is a local Berlin only campaign.
The main focus was to show that Nike really gets Berlin runners – not just selling a pair of trainers or sporting gear.
What makes running the city tough? Following this question, we teamed up with a Berlin based Turkish illustrator and runner to capture the 3 major obstacles for Berlin runners: the dirtiness of the city, the carelessness of others – and the darkness, that is especially challenging for female runners.
The three motifs capture that Nike runner’s spirit: because when you are a runner in Berlin you run anyways. The city’s obstacles simply can’t stop you. The audience are runners, in all areas of the city, of all gender and in all life stages.
Berlin is a multilayer, multicultural city in which every area (in Berlin the parts of the city are called Kiez), all have their very own vibe. To bring this to live the illustrations are all completely different in style. They all represent a specific area of the city, ranging from poppy-rainbow colors kissed by bright sunlight to the dark grittiness that you only find in some specific Berlin Kiez.
The illustrations were created entirely in Adobe Photoshop, using all the possible tools of giving them that haptic, painted on paper feeling, that gives them their very specific texture and feeling.
While the runners all wear Nike gear the brand elements are reduced to the minimum. The copy is always placed in center at the top making the visuals look almost like holy images that go with a piece of holy wisdom at the top.
Even though Nike has a strong fan base in Germany and Berlin, their German competitor brand is still more in favor (Germany is considered an Adidas country). To show support for all ambitious runners and showcase that Nike really “gets” Berlin the illustrations did a great job. They clearly communicate for the audience not the brand and they are made to celebrate Berlin runners, not to sell products. Berlin runners loved them and felt seen by Nike.