By Barry Janoff
Originally Published in MediaPost
December 12, 2016: Nike wants people to exercise, train, workout and just plain get off the couch or away from the computer, according to a new campaign, "Time Is Precious."
The effort, for Nike Running, shows no running shoes, no people, no exercise equipment, not even the Apple Watch Nike+ or a screen shot of the Nike+ Run Club app.
Instead, in a series of humorous spots, we see stark white text on a black background, read by a voiceover sounding a lot like Apple’s Siri, each addressing a different aspect of modern life that Nike deems as having become too distracting: zombies, obsessing over celebrities, taking endless selfies and photos of minutia or spending too much time on the Internet giving too many opinions.
The campaign includes six spots, Internet and social media. Lead agency is Wieden + Kennedy Portland Ore.
According to Nike, the purpose of the effort is to “encourage people to give themselves time to exercise, train and participate in sports.”
"We believe this is a way to make everyone aware of the need to get active, through a fun and disruptive campaign, from the messages to the platforms used," Sean Tresvant, vp-category brand marketing for Nike North America, told NYSportsJournalism. "We believe sport is something that can help everyone to be the best they can be . . . and this is about making people aware they have more time than they think to run or train."
The umbrella spot, "Time Is Precious," asks, "Are we scrolling, watching and clicking or are we running today?"
"This commercial is just one minute out of the ten hours a day you spend glued to your screens," we read while a staccato Siri voice says each one-word snippet. "That’s 152 days a year. That’s 32 years of your life. Scrolling stuff. Clicking stuff. Emoji-ing stuff. Watching other people’s pictures of the Caffé Macchiato. Or their dog. Or their baby. Or their dog and baby. Or the view out of their airplane window . . .
"Are you watching vloggers take something out of a box,” it continues. “Watching shows about housewives. Watching shows about housewives in a different state. Swiping left . . . left .. .left . . . "
It ends with the sounds of a ticking stop watch and an alarm ringing, then directs viewers to Nike.com/running.
Supporting spots take on specific topics.
In "Zombies," Nike takies a shot at such popular shows as The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead and Z Nation by asking, "Are we watching zombies or are we running today?"
"Pictures" poses the question, "Are we scrolling through pictures or are we training today?"
"Opinions" and "Friends" ask, respectively, "Are we spending time on opinions . . ." and "Are we commenting on stuff or are we running today?"
In "Celebrities," the question a bit more complex.
"Are we watching celebrities doing stuff or are we training today?" Which comes with the Siri-read text, designed to mirror promos for reality shows: "Coming up: Celebrity does stuff celebrities do. Celebrity dates celebrity. Celebrity cheats on celebrity. Celebrity breaks up with celebrity. Celebrity drinks a drink walks on sidewalk scratches nose sneezes wants privacy posts naked selfie."
In its most recent financial report, for Q1 2017, Nike said that, due in part to the Olympic Games, “Running was a strong performing category (posting) the strongest sales Nike has ever recorded for that business segment.”
“Running is a great example of our complete offense within a category, delivering both performance innovation and sports style innovation in both footwear and apparel," Mark Parker, chairman and CEO, said during a conference call.