Nike's latest campaign for International Day of the Girl Child (October 11), crafted by Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo, is a stirring call to arms that resonates deeply with Gen Z in Japan.
Titled 'Imperfect You,' the effort, part of Nike’s global campaign that reimagines the future of sport, takes a swing at the suffocating burden of perfection that weigh on the younger generation, urging them to break free and shine in their true selves through the transformative power of sport.
Whilst Ad Nut can afford to munch on nuts and swing from branches without a care in the world, scratch that, Ad Nut worries about running into murderous beasts from time to time; today’s digital generation faces pressures of another level. Excel at school, find a stable job, and maintain an unreal existence on social media, worry about the follower count, peer pressure—it’s all too much.
To tackle this, Nike and creative arm Weiden + Kennedy Tokyo highlight the journey of a young protagonist Aika—grappling with these self-imposed pressures of academic, career and personal achievements. Aika goes on a time-travelling adventure where she witnesses the burdens of Japanese women across different eras, a powerful reminder that circumstances and situations have changed but the quest for perfection has been a timeless struggle.
The campaign gains momentum with appearances from Nike athletes and catalysts as Aika realises gains her confidence. Sports is shows as a form of self-expression that helps Aika unlock her authentic self. Skaters, breakers, and all-around cool folks demonstrate that it is possible to be authentic and true to oneself while defying gravity. And here Ad Nut thought climbing trees was impressive!
Now, let's address the elephant in the room. Or should Ad Nut say, squirrel in the jungle? While the campaign hits the mark, the execution could use a little more pizzazz. Aika's journey could be spiced up with some captivating visuals and tighter editing.
It conveys an important message in a fairly conservative society (Japan) that needs to make tremendous strides in its inclusivity, diversity, and mental health metrics, so thumbs up to the concept. But if at 2:48 minutes the film does not hit a chord with the Gen Z—take a leaf of Ad Nut’s book and embrace all quirks. Life is too short to worry about perfection, unlike Ad Nut who is naturally fabulous. Stop worrying about grades and social media and remember that somewhere in the jungle, there is a squirrel living its best life, and you can too!
Creative Director – Max Pilwat, Erwin Federizo
Copywriter – Marina Danjo, Andrew Miller, Kiran Strickland
Art Director – Kazuhi Yoshikawa, Josh King
Designer – Konatsu Matsumoto, Akane Yasuda
Head of Brand Management – Jordan Cappadocia
Brand Director – Paanii Annan
Brand Supervisor – Chelsea Hayashi
Brand Executive – Ryu Kaida
Assistant Brand Executive – Kai Laughlin
Executive Producer – Kosuke Sasaki
Producers – Eisuke Arai, Yoko Onodera, Matthew Kato
Head of Strategy – Thijs van de Wouw
Senior Strategist – Tai Koga, Rudy Jean-Francois
Comms Planning Director – Patrick Fahey
Comms Strategist – Taiki Satoh
Creative Operations Director – Aiwei Ichikawa
Agency Editor – Vinod Vijayasankaran, Jacob Kim
PR Director – Kazuki Kyogoku
Translator – Mako Tomita, Takuro Kobayashi
Head of Production – Michelle Brough
Chief Creative Officer – Ian Toombs, Vivian Yong
President – Yosuke Suzuki
PRODUCTION COMPANY – Park Pictures
Director – Georgia Hudson
Executive Producer- Fran Thompson
Producer – Annabel Ridley, Katie Lambert
Production Manager – Fred Deedes, Andrea Harvey
Director of Photography – Steve Annis
Gimbal Operator – Myron Mance
PRODUCTION COMPANY – AOI Pro.
Producer – Daisuke Misu, Sakii Gotsu
Line Producer – Wataru Ode, Koichiro Narita, Yuto Brian Ota
Assistant Producer – Kanta Yamaguchi
Production Manager – Yurika Yamada, Haruka Ono, Sena Ross
Assistant Director – Nagisa Kodama
Production Designer – Masami Tanaka
Casting Director – Mai Ikeda, Azumi Matsumoto, Yurika Kagami, Kensaku Watanabe
Lighting Director – Tetsu Moritera
1st AC – Takao Baba
Stylist – Tatsuya Shimada
Hair & Make up Hair- Kunio Kohzaki
Make-up – Yoko Minami
DIT – Shinya Nagao
Sports Choreographer – Eddie McClements
Choreographer – Masaki Okawa
History Professor – Mahoko Kyoraku
Editor – Paul O’Reilly (Trim)
Edit producer – Polly Kemp (Trim)
Assistant Editors – Nanako Kawasaki, Jacques Simon (Trim)
VFX – Jitto
Online Editor – Akio Sakamaki
Music Composer – Black Cat White Cat
Sound Designer – Michael Anastasi
Sound Mixer – Daniel Lovell
Colorist – Daniel De Vue (TRAFIK)
|Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.