#MakeItCount – Nike Film Director Scraps Project, Travels World, and Creates Viral Hit

Kaitlyn Dennihy sent me a link rogue video that said almost nothing at all about Nike, lasted four minutes, and made me want to go out and purchase the product more than any commercial I can think of recently. The story behind it’s creation is even more fascinating than the ad itself. But first, watch the movie:

Casey Neistat, film director, was hired to create his third commercial for Nike. Tired of the same routine, they took a chance that could have caused them to be sued for breach of contract. From the movie:

Nike asked me to make a movie about what it meant to ‘Make It Count.’ Instead of making their movie, I spent the entire budget travelling around the world with my friend Max. We’d keep going until the money ran out. It lasted 10 days.

And this story is true.

He says,

Consequences aside, if I could do anything in the world, what would it be? Do I really want to produce another regular advertisement? No. I would take this production budget and go around the world and see all these places I want to see.

Their adventures captured across Paris, Zambia, Doha, Bangkok, and many other locations come to life with a cohesive thread of him running across the screen in multiple locations. And, the inspirational quotes make it brilliant. After watching the movie, I found I identified closely with #MakeItCount and had a strong brand association with Nike and the hashtag. And, I wanted to go out and purchase a pair.

Further, the short form commercial continues to evolve. Once constrained to the 30-second spot, Volkswagon overturned the previous notions by first releasing it’s commercial through Youtube in 2011. As brands begin to further illuminate their story digitally, short form movies – like My Coke Rewards’ Tale of Two Caps – can be even more powerful than the traditional high-budget 30-second spot.

What an excellent way to take a risk on a new type of video, and they certainly succeeded.

Thanks to Kaitlyn Dennihy for sharing and to Fast Company for covering this story.

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