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Nike shows ‘running makes the world go round’ in Shanghai ‘hijacking’ stunt

Nike has launched yet another bold public stunt in a bid to ring home with the Chinese market.

This time around, the global athletics brand ‘hijacked’ one of Shanghai’s most iconic landmarks – the globe shaped Metro City – by appearing to position Hong Kong actor Edison Chen running on top of the world.

Named ‘Running makes the world go round’,  the stunt kickstarted the launch of Nike’ latest global campaign, ‘Choose Go’, in China.

Created by longterm agency-of-record Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, the stunt involved ‘hijacking’ the globe-shaped Metro City building in downtown Shanghai.

The agency built a five-metre tall invisible screen on top to project runners who were actually running on a treadmill across the street in real time. The speed of the earth’s rotation was connected to the speed of the runners on the treadmill so people could see how their run affected the rotation of the earth.

To capitalise on the brash spectacle, the brand recruited local celebrities and athletes, including actor Chen and Su Bingtian, who broke the Asian sprint record three times to become ‘the fastest man in China’.

This latest stunt comes just two weeks after Nike and W+K Shanghai created a novel approach to testing out running shoes by allowing people to participate in their own Super Mario-inspired video game.

Although Nike is no stranger to dramatic activations globally, its recent heavy-handed efforts in China follow a period of sustained growth in the market while sales in the United States have dipped.

Last year, Nike’s Greater China segment in the first quarter brought $1.1 billion in sales, up nine percent from 2016. 

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