Cannes Lions

SPORTS EQUIPMENT

MINDSHARE SWEDEN, Stockholm / NIKE / 2002

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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

The main purpose was to strengthen Nike’s position as market-leader by reinforcing the ‘coolness’ of the brand by fusing sport, the core target and street culture. Nike Freestyle’s primary target group is active urban (youth-oriented) 15 - 24 year-olds, where music and sport are a part of their everyday life. The campaign was heavily aired on TV, complemented by nation-wide cinema advertising. Regarding the cinema advertising, a unique event took place over several days, when the commercial was ‘live’ on stage. This has never happened before in Sweden. In conjunction, a similar event took place over several days at Sergelstorg, one of Stockholm’s central squares. It was crucial for the internet solution to get the target group to spend time and get involved with the brand.

The Swedish market is uncompromising and consists of several strong, dominant players. All appeal to a trend-conscious target group that is selective and demanding of marketers’ communications and actions. It is crucial for a brand to be perceived as the coolest and most ‘right’.

The above conditions led to the following communication objectives: Strengthen the “coolness of the brand”Complement and reinforce other components of the campaign Build a strong relationship to the target group via interactivity Drive traffic to nike.com/freestyle The solution, involving mtve.com, was a web competition where contestants created their own commercial by selecting their favourite football and basketball sequences and editing them to make their own version. Entries were sent to freestyle@mtve.com and then passed on to Nike and the jury.

The demanding competition created an involvement that was beyond all expectations and the number of unique visitors to the site helped boost other elements of the campaign. Collaboration with MTV enabled viewers to navigate via mtve.com to the nike.com/freestyle microsite. A synergy was created between the two strong brands.

The competition took place during the first three weeks of October 2001. Mtve.com promoted the competition on their front page, “win prizes” page and in their e-mail newsletter. On the start page there was a text, a button, a delux banner, a content box and a pop-up. In the first week of the campaign, mtve.com circulated an extra e-mail newsletter. On the microsite, you could download screensavers, watch the different spots and tell a friend about the competition or visit nike.com/freestyle to find more cool things.

The importance of the campaign was not how many people left de facto entries, because an entry took a long time and was difficult and the files could be heavy if they made a long remix.

At the same time as the voting process was taking place, promotion of the new skateboard film started. In this way we made the users aware of the fact that you can always find new cool stuff on nike.com/freestyle, which is important, as we still wanted them to visit the site once the campaign on mtve.com was at an end. The competitors could not win anything just by voting, yet users chose to vote anyway.

The winning entry was broadcast a number of times on MTV for one week and mtve.com promoted the winner on their start page for five days.

ResultsExtremely high number of visitors (27,150 unique users visited the microsite)A much larger involvement and relation than expected (e.g. 1,324 voted for best remix)287,688 unique users visited the mtve.com start page during the campaignTotal grand promotion 9,052,676 impressions 12,376 click on nike.com/freestyleMTV’s concept and profile fulfilled the goals of the campaign perfectlyThe campaign received a lot of attention in the press because of its unique concept In the past, Nike used their athletes to demonstrate authenticity within the sporting arena. The Freestyle campaign instead used the “love of the game” as shown by individuals to celebrate creativity and freedom of expression within sport, with an urban twist. The core communicative target was urban 15 - 24 year-olds who are into sport and music and the way it is expressed in urban areas. The internet campaign was a vital component of the whole Freestyle campaign.MindShare’s investigations proved that the target group is almost under siege when it comes to the amount of marketing aimed at them and that they are both aware and critical to the manner in which marketing addresses them. Therefore, communicating with this difficult target group required a component in a medium that attracts the target group. In the Swedish market, we know that youth is not only positive to the internet, but even has a positive disposition regarding on-line marketing.

MindShare’s challenge was to find a solution in this medium that was both relevant and inspiring. A solution that would attract the target group in the right way and win its attention and spend time with the Nike brand. MindShare brought forward a concept that thoroughly succeeded in combining media channels and collaborative partners that corresponded well with the target group’s preferences and sensibilities. Nike Freestyle’s internet campaign was enormously successful, capturing a large number of unique visitors and active voters. In addition, it reinforced and complemented other parts of the campaign.

The degree of difficulty in communicating to this target group resulted in a cross-branding initiative, involving the construction of the Nike Freestyle branded microsite in collaboration with MTV. Among mtve.com’s users and MTV’s viewers, the MindShare team clearly identified the recurrence of Nike Freestyle’s target group. The actual interactivity was created for the target group on this campaign site.

Nike Freestyle’s internet campaign demanded a large degree of involvement from participants. The contest was both time-consuming and “tricky”, which meant visitors had to find the concept interesting and challenging.

The collaboration with mtve.com was an important part of the contest. It was a unique collaboration, something the target group had never seen before. The campaign also won praise in the trade press because the contest succeeded in attracting the target group in an excellent way. One of the most important objectives of the campaign was to increase the “coolness” of the Nike brand. This was achieved through the close co-operation with MTV and its strong connection to music and street culture. This, in combination with the large number of unique and active visitors made the campaign extremely successful.

Execution

In the past, Nike used their athletes to demonstrate authenticity within the sporting arena. The Freestyle campaign instead used the “love of the game” as shown by individuals to celebrate creativity and freedom of expression within sport, with an urban twist. The core communicative target was urban 15 - 24 year-olds who are into sport and music and the way it is expressed in urban areas. The internet campaign was a vital component of the whole Freestyle campaign.MindShare’s investigations proved that the target group is almost under siege when it comes to the amount of marketing aimed at them and that they are both aware and critical to the manner in which marketing addresses them. Therefore, communicating with this difficult target group required a component in a medium that attracts the target group. In the Swedish market, we know that youth is not only positive to the internet, but even has a positive disposition regarding on-line marketing.

MindShare’s challenge was to find a solution in this medium that was both relevant and inspiring. A solution that would attract the target group in the right way and win its attention and spend time with the Nike brand. MindShare brought forward a concept that thoroughly succeeded in combining media channels and collaborative partners that corresponded well with the target group’s preferences and sensibilities.

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