Viral Now: Nike risks everything with The Last Game

By Saumya Tewari , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | June 12, 2014
Nike has rolled out an animated short film showcasing football superstars on a mission to save the game.

If risking meant a chance to score big then Nike surely has done it. In a run up to the eagerly-awaited football extravaganza 'FIFA World Cup 2014', the brand has released five-minute long animated film titled 'The Last Game', a part of its #RiskEverything campaign.

The Last Game is a story about risky football versus safe football. The film shows a mad scientist who has created clones of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Andrés Iniesta, Franck Ribery, David Luiz and Tim Howard. He believes that humans take too many risks on the field reducing the percentage chances for success. The clones with their spot-on precision have been engineered to take no risks and are ready to squash their frail human opponents with ruthless efficiency.

The humans lose to the clones and a gloom sets in questioning the future of a 'Normal Football game'. At this very juncture, the famed Brazilian footballer Ronaldo is introduced in the film as the saviour who collects all the human footballers to stand against the villainous scientist and his clones to 'save football'. "There is no greater danger than playing it safe," he says, a line that very well sums the core spirit of the game of football.

All charged up the Originals (human footballers) challenge the clones announcing that they will quit the game forever if they lose. What follows is two-minute long jaw dropping showdown. Don't miss Neymar's quick selfie with one of the clones while they are at it. The originals beat the clones with the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo's winning goal.

The film is a big leap for Nike, a brand that heavily relies on star power, as it chooses to not show the footballers in flesh. Executed by Wieden+Kennedy, the film is directed by Jon Saunders of Passion Pictures. It is interesting to note how the company's marketing strategy has evolved over years. The marketing initiatives have been turned into storytelling and content marketing, which is so native that one doesn't realise that they are consuming ads. Posted on YouTube on June 9, this film has already garnered 16 million views as on Wednesday evening.

Nike released the first two videos under #RiskEverything campaign in April this year. The first one titled 'Winner Stays' features a match between Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazil's Neymar. While the other video titled 'Risk Everything' stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr and Wayne Rooney ready for the ultimate football challenge that awaits them in the World Cup this year.

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