A&AD Archive Dive: N is for…


Shelley O’Neill loves all words equally, and has always preferred them to numbers. She is currently copywriter and client services manager at Boxed Red Marketing. You can see her work-based wordsmithery at www.boxedred.com/news.

When I think of a D&AD award, I think of sensational design so simple it makes you wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself. Copywriting so precise it screams the message loud and clear and advertising campaigns forever imprinted on the memory of a generation.

So as I scrolled through the pages of the archive under the letter N, there seemed to be just one brand that embodied all those things. Probably because it’s spoken to everyone for so long and with such consistency that it’s ingrained in the fabric of advertising communication for as long as I can remember. And it’s such a strong brand it was one of the first to drop the copy from its communication and be represented by a logo alone, a tick actually. I flicked through the Nike entries with interest and nostalgia, searching for something outstanding to write about, something so creative it would make the most creative, creative director jealous.

Then I clicked on the Nike+ GPS video, a pounding heartbeat of a soundtrack behind slick graphics describing how Nike has revolutionized the running world by introducing a microchip to its trainers. Absolute genius. And so simple, it makes you wonder why no one thought of it before.

“It pretty much changed the sport”, says the voiceover, and I’m not surprised to hear it. But Nike didn’t just stop there, they maximized the opportunities presented by having a chip in a running shoe, and then thought some more about what else they could do.

So while the multinational corporation was capitalising on the latest running innovation, technology itself was plodding along, developing and evolving and reminding Nike that there’s more to their brand than nifty running shoes.

I think that’s what makes this story so inspiring and deserving of an award in my eyes. A business that takes what it’s good at, embraces new technology and then diversifies to get the most out of their products, then packaging it all in an engaging way to make the customer believe they can’t live without it.

And what runner can live without Nike+ GPS? Plotting runs, analysing performance and even posting information straight to Facebook and Twitter. But that’s not all; Nike+ GPS even emits the roar of the crowd over your training playlist every time someone comments on your activity online. It’s enough to make me lace up some running shoes and start pounding pavement, almost.

See the work here.

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