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Nike lets Chinese runners test trainers as players in giant video game

While regular runners may be used to the routine of trying out new trainers on a store treadmill, most are unlikely to be leaping past pandas and bouncing over pyramids as they do so.

However, through a new activation by Nike in China, runners can now see themselves cruising across their own Super Mario-inspired video game in an effort that brings shoe-trialling and gamification together.

Created by agency-of-record Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai, the stunt sees runners take a three-minute test on a treadmill while watching themselves run across a video game called ‘Reactland’.

In a case study video released by the agency, players arrive at the specially-set up venue, pick a pair of trainers and then create their own avatar.

Once on the treadmill, players are given three minutes to dash across Reactland, sweeping past the Great Wall of China, Mt Fuji and the colourful roofs of Santorini. The further players run, the more points scored on the leaderboard.

Players are also given a hand-held controller to allow them to bounce across the game’s obstacles in a bid to promote the bounciness of Nike’s latest Epic React line.

The game is available for visitors to try in select stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

Bearing in mind Chinese consumers love of sharing socially, the brand concludes the game by giving players’ a 10-second video of them running through Reactland.

Nike’s latest effort marks another high-profile attempt to bring gamification together with entertainment and advertising.

Nike’s ‘Unlimited’ stadium

Asia has proved a major testing ground for this over recent years, most famously with its Philippines ‘Unlimited’ campaign, which allowed runners to pit their sprinting abilities against avatars of themselves.

The brand and its Asia creative agency BBH followed up the campaign last year with a ‘hyper’ basketball court. 

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