Nike tells Chinese footballers ‘Dare to Become’ in World Cup TVC by Wieden+Kennedy

A Nike football ad campaign in China, a country that was not even playing at the World Cup, has achieved 170 million views during the tournament – due in part to its aspirational ‘Dare to Become’ theme, it has been claimed.

Created by independent creative agency Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, the film shows a future-world scenario whereby the greatest football player in the world is Chinese and, as the agency put it “Manchester City fills their roster with Chinese players, and all of England cries after being drawn in a group with China”.

The work is designed to tap into optimism around China becoming a serious player at international tournaments like the FIFA World Cup.

“This moment provided an ideal opportunity to present Chinese football fans and young athletes with a vision of what Chinese football could be, and who they could become,” said a Wieden+Kennedy spokesperson.

“Nike wanted to inspire China’s young football players by giving them a dream to chase. And having reached 170 million views in only a few days after launching, the film has clearly struck a chord.”

Real teenage football players from the Nike Football League in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were recruited to star in the TV spot, which played on Chinese TV throughout the World Cup. The film was directed by Ian Pons Jewell and the product company was Hamlet.

Wieden+Kennedy was founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1982. The agency has offices around the world including Shanghai and Tokyo. As well as Nike, its client list includes Coca-Cola, Facebook, Heineken, Honda, Levi’s and Procter & Gamble.


Executive creative director: Ian Toombs and Vivian Yong

Creative directors: Matt Skibiak and Dong Hao

Art director: Josh King and Max Pilwat

Copywriter: Josh King and Max Pilwat

Head of integrated production: Sanne Drogtrop

Executive producer: Bernice Wong

Producer: Fang Yuan and Angela Liu

Senior planner: Leon Lin

Planner: Chris Kirkup

Business director: Dino Xu

Account manager: Shawn Kai

Senior account executive: Xueer Ren

Head of project management: Nicole Bee

Business affairs: Jessica Deng, Kathy Zhan

Head of designers: Fish Ho

Designer: He Fan

New business director: Jessica Sinn

Public relations manager: Rachel Xiao


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