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Posted by Darren Brooker, 21 May 2012 11:12 am
Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam helped Nike score an epic success with the Write the Future spot for its 2010 World Cup campaign. Now Wieden + Kennedy London has followed it with an equally impactful spot for Euro 2012, that rather than focusing on the established stars, takes a theme of youth. My Time is Now sees the field stormed by an army of up-and-coming players - think Brazil's Neymar, France's Yann M'Vila and Germany's Mario Götze - in order to compete against the likes of Franck Ribéry, Wesley Sneijder and (of course, given his star billing in Write the Future) Cristiano Ronaldo.
Maybe it was the curse of Write the Future, where the stars of the spot - Wayne Rooney in particular - had a markedly under-par tournament, but Nike's decision to focus on youth gives the My Time is Now spot a freshness that is more than matched by its frenetic pace. And if the new spot doesn't have quite the same thread of hilarious narrative that made Write the Future so special, it makes up for it by offering a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek references, notably to Ronaldo being sidelined because he can't find a shirt to fit him. It also goes beyond the previous campaign in terms of what it offers by way of interactivity. At Nike Football's YouTube page, the film exists in a version that contains embedded "tunnels" that leads to lots of additional content that gives you the backstory on how the hungry young players got to this point.
Down one of the nine tunnels - found at 0m26s - resides a playful piece centred on La Masia - FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy. The film sees Guardiola leave his seat in the middle of a France vs. Netherlands match to deliver a humorous slideshow of life at the FC Barcelona Academy, where the young players appear to live a life of leisure complete with fine dining and water slides...however, this is juxtaposed against the rain-drenched reality of the commitment young players need to succeed as Guardiola returns to his seat at the game.
The campaign coincides with The Chance - Nike’s global talent search - which is running in 55 countries from May to August and is seeking out the best up-and-coming young players, one of whom will earn a place at the Nike Academy in the UK, which is now in its second year in partnership with the Premier League.
With post production coming, like it did for Write the Future, via The Mill, it's every inch the polished classic that its predecessor was. Whether it lives up to its predecessor's track record by winning the Cannes Film Grand Prix will be the true acid test that reveals whether W+K London have succeeded to the same incredible extent as their Amsterdam counterparts.
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