Suraj Ramnath

Nike on 'Da da ding' ad: "The campaign aims to inspire young women to take up sports"

The video has been created by Wieden+Kennedy Delhi.

Nike India, in its recently-launched ad film 'Da Da Ding', a part of 'Nike Just Do It' campaign, features women athletes and Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone. The ad has been conceptualised by Wieden+Kennedy Delhi.

The ad was initially launched on the digital platform, but from July 11, the same film was rolled out as a TVC on the English entertainment channels such as Comedy Central and Romedy Now. The brand will soon have a print and outdoor campaign to support the digital and TVC.

Nike on 'Da da ding' ad: "The campaign aims to inspire young women to take up sports"
Nike on 'Da da ding' ad: "The campaign aims to inspire young women to take up sports"
The film, which features sports athletes, showcases the unrelenting spirit of women in India, and aims to trigger a movement to change the way sports is perceived in the country. The campaign features the ultimate girl sports squad -- from national hockey player Rani Rampal and surfer Ishita Malaviya, to Deepika Padukone -- as well as a huge supporting cast of everyday women performing a diverse range of sports.
Nike on 'Da da ding' ad: "The campaign aims to inspire young women to take up sports"
Nike on 'Da da ding' ad: "The campaign aims to inspire young women to take up sports"
Talking about the film, Keerthana Ramakrishnan, communications head, Nike India, says, "Nike's campaign aims to inspire people to take up sports by showing the unstoppable feeling that only sports can deliver. The campaign showcases a series of young athletes across India who are unstoppable. Through their stories, we aim to ignite a sports movement."

She further adds, "Women are powerful. They lead the change. The campaign brings to life stories of such powerful female athletes. The stories authenticate how sports has shaped up and made the athletes invincible. The campaign aims to inspire young women to take up sports and intends to ignite a sports movement among female athletes in India."

Interestingly, (Deepika) Padukone has been given an equal share of screen space in the film with the other women athletes. When we asked Mohamed Rizwan, creative director, Wieden+Kennedy (Delhi) about it, this is what he had to say...

"It wasn't about the screen space, but the idea that every girl can be an athlete. You can be 'Deepika Padukone', but you are an athlete. You can be any girl, but you can be an athlete. All girls are on the same pedestal. You don't have to be a national level athlete to just go out and play. That's why you see Padukone getting as much screen time as the other athletes," says Rizwan.

Talking about the challenges faced while making the film, Rizwan says, "Since it is a three-minute music video, we had to plan a lot, shoot for six days, had a cast of 150 girls, and a director from Paris to shoot. For us, the most important thing in the ad was getting the casting and the music right."

In answer to why the film was made with only women athletes, Rizwan says, "Nike has been talking to men historically and the point right now with this campaign is that we want young girls to go out there and play sports and make it a part of the culture. We don't have a sporting culture, sports is not part of their lives, and we thought it would be pretty interesting talking to girls and inspire them to go out and make sports a part of their lives."

We asked our experts about the execution of the campaign and their thoughts. This is what they had to say...

Pooja Rawat, associate vice-president, Lowe Lintas, says, "The execution is all-encompassing. It's dynamic, covers several sports, and has a large cast. The sound track is striking and makes you want to get moving. The ad has great repeat value."

Nike on 'Da da ding' ad: "The campaign aims to inspire young women to take up sports"
Nike on 'Da da ding' ad: "The campaign aims to inspire young women to take up sports"
She further adds, "To my mind, the campaign is trying to break feminine stereotypes such as being soft, slow, having a good figure, and who are here to impress men kind of stuff. Much is being said about the changing role of women in the country, and globally, it's a great time to take the lead which the brand has done by dedicating an entire ad to 'unstereotype' women in India."

Adding further she says, "I would say, it's a small investment for the future. The ad shows their sporty, aggressive, aspirational, crazy, and hard-core performance side, all of which make for a story that needs to be told."

When asked about Padukone's role being small, Rawat says, "I think it's brave of Nike to include her in an ad with an all-athlete cast. She is subtly used and rightly so. Anymore of her would tilt the film towards glamour because of her more obvious association with it, and that would be an overkill in the context of performance and sports."

Giving her views, Siddhi Desai, associate creative director, DigitasLBi, a digital agency from the house of Publicis.Sapient, says, "Well, my first reaction was...FINALLY!!! Finally, a film with girls, about girls, with nothing 'girly' about it. There is so much conversation in the country about equality and we all accept it in concept, yet every time we do a film with women, we deck them up and put them in pretty floral dresses."

She further adds, "This film has done just the opposite. Women have ....., they're getting down and dirty. And, I think Nike has announced that with this film. Some shots really stand out, especially the one with the girls jumping off a bus and running over taxis. Reminded me of the Nike gully cricket commercial but... way cooler!"

Desai is pleasantly surprised with Padukone's role. "Padukone is shown as Padukone, and not the actor that she is. I did wonder in the first half of the film as to why she was there, or if I would eventually see more celebrities. But, as the film ends, you see her as one of us and I think that's beautiful. This is not a celebrity film. It's a girl film and she's here to support that," she says.