How Nike captured the spirit of London’s youth


Nike released “Nothing Beats A Londoner” just a couple of weeks ago and they have again shown that they are continuously creating inspiration global advertising campaigns for all to enjoy.

As this ad is based in London, we see a more localised approach using familiar faces such as Olympic Athlete Mo Farah, Comedian Michael Dapaah and Grime Artist Skepta. This is a fast-paced ad reflecting Nike’s commitment to supporting and inspiring young people who live in London to play more sport. The video quickly topped YouTube’s trending table and has racked up 5.5 million views to date with a majority loving the ad and what it stands for.

The three-minute video showcases the variety of sport that is played and shows the determination of those taking part. This gives a sense of competitiveness within the London culture and how everyone aspires to be the best they can. Each individual focused on in the video explains their own personal struggle and how they train to ensure they become the best they can be. Unlike many other Nike advertising campaigns, this ad focuses on variety and at CMS we think that this is an important factor in order to appeal to the correct target audience which Nike want to reach. The use of colloquial language and humour used gives a sense of reality as this language is often used throughout the city of London and even broader in the UK. This allowed Nike to focus and give a realistic representation of how modern marketing can be used to reach the correct audience.

We get a real insight into the depths of London as we see local boxing rings, chicken shops, and the streets of Peckham used as backdrops for each scene. This allowed the advert to avoid many cliches such as the London Eye and Big Ben which we often see used by those filming an advert in London.

Lots of the interest in this ad gained a positive reaction but there was also some backlash from those concerned that the ad alienates others who do not relate to living in a capital city. Many may feel left out as maybe they hoped that Nike would branch out to smaller towns in the UK to create a more overall variety of people. Nike chose to focus directly on the inner-city of London and this had the potential to backfire by all those who live in other areas.

Being able to cast many cultural figureheads for the ad including athletes, musicians, comedians, locals and more they have been able to capture a wide spectrum of the City and shows a real sense of spirit. The use of in-jokes and references which are understood by the target audience allowed this campaign to not only reach YouTube’s trending table but also be shared across all social platforms. The hashtag “#nothingbeatsalondoner” became top trending on the day of release across Twitter and proved that this was a shareable and powerful advertisement. This campaign allowed Nike to show that they are not just any sports clothing brand, but one that supports and motivates local people to achieve the best they can and reach their goals.

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