Nike’s world record ad campaign in China

August 20, 2006 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

Just 5 hours after Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang broke the 110 meter hurdle world record (12.88 seconds) in Switzerland last week, Nike briefed its creative and media agencies in Shanghai, Wieden & Kennedy and MindShare, to turn around an instant ad campaign. Within hours an outdoor ad was running on the side of the Aurora skyscraper, and online ads were placed on Chinese portal sina.com. By the time the hero arrived at Beijing Airport, he was wearing a Nike-sponsored “12.88” t-shirt, giving brand coverage across TV, print and the internet. By the next day, the campaign hit large outdoor media sites, such as a 500 sqm billboard in Beijing’s downtown Wang Fu Jing district.

Now that’s a 360-degree campaign, turned around in hours. So why does it usually take months? Of course it helps if the athlete you’re sponsoring hails from the world’s most patriotic nation and breaks a world record. But perhaps it’s also a reminder that when the content and message is brutally simple – like the number 12.88 – a major news-based campaign can be executed in just days across multiple channels. The simpler the message, the faster and further you can project it. There’s a time and a place for big production, sophisticated ads. But there’s also an alternative – be prepared to get the news out fast while it’s still news. Or in other words…Just do it!

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Entry filed under: china, media general.

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