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Nike ad team finds greatness with ‘Jogger’

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising and sports marketing. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers. No agencies or products are endorsed.


I’m reluctant to admit that I haven’t paid attention to the London 2012 Games, but I have found myself stopped, intrigued and inspired by Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” series.

UPDATED AUG. 5 Particularly powerful is “Jogger,” the spot where we meet Nathan on a lonely road in Ohio. He’s not blazing around a track, looking like a part-time movie star. He’s an overweight kid putting one foot in front of the other in an effort to make his life better, healthier. The one-minute-three-second spot is filmed in a single, unedited shot, and the narration (provided by actor Tom Hardy) is quiet, simple, effective. We’re not focused on the shoes, just the kid. And we’re not just focused, we’re transfixed. The commercial proves the power of simplicity as it touches the part of us that has felt like the chubby kid, the part of us that has buckled under the blanket of loneliness, the part of us that is struggling to be more than what we are now.

Somehow we’ve come to believe greatness is a gift, reserved for a chosen few. For prodigies. For superstars. And the rest of us can only stand by watching.
~ Narrator Tom Hardy,
Nike “Find Your Greatness” commercial, August 2012

“Jogger” was posted on Nike’s YouTube channel on July 31. At the time of this writing, it had 284,786 views, 3,867 likes and 57 dislikes. On Nike’s Facebook page, a photo of Nathan with a link to the video had garnered 36,742 likes, 2,804 shares, and 934 comments since it was posted July 31. It is just one of a much larger campaign that Nike launched to coincide with the opening of the London Games.

Greatness is no more unique to use than breathing. We’re all capable of it. All of us.
~ Narrator Tom Hardy,
Nike “Find Your Greatness” commercial, August 2012

For more on the narrator, please visit one of these fine sites: Tom Hardy Fan, Sport Wired or Exploring Tom Hardy.

AGENCY: W+K, the folks who brought you ESPNWatch’s “Paintings” commercial.

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her clients'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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