Kids in London are faced with impossibly high pressures and expectations to succeed and be seen as popular, stylish, and cool. Many brands feed into such insecurities by promoting style and swag. Nike’s challenge was harder, yet more rewarding: to inspire the inner athlete within youth through the entertaining, empowering, confidence-building power of sport.
Campaign objectives included:
Every kid in London has struggles. Nike discovered that rather than complaining about them, young Londoners use their hardships as fuel to become better. They’re determined to achieve their ambitions and do so with the same resilient mindset and swagger that is typically found in elite athletes. Nike also discovered that kids in London do not boast about how good they have it. Rather, they boast about how hard they have it, because that’s what makes them tougher.
Instead of executing a campaign with star international athletes, Nike flipped the traditional sports ad model and made London kids the heroes while placing athletes and influencers in supporting roles.
“Nothing Beats A Londoner” captured young London authentically in an epic, social first, cross-platform tale of one-downmanship, where kids out boast one another about how tough they have it. The story revealed real kids, real language, true stories, cult locations, and a supporting cast made up of London’s most influential sporting and cultural figures.
Nike’s idea was to make the youth of London feel like the sporting heroes they idolize. In a blend between social media and film, the youth launched the campaign through their own Instagram channels and shared it organically.
Grime legend Skepta launched the opening scene of the three-minute film on his Instagram, complaining about having to cycle somewhere. This kickstarted a battle of one-downmanship across London as kids commented on the previous one’s post with a film of their personal sporting hardship. The athletes and influencers who were featured then commented on the kids’ Instagram posts and shared them through their channels, blowing the kids’ minds.
The social media battle then came together in a full film, which was launched to the world on YouTube. As it reached No. 1 on trending, influencer led “swipe up” Instagram Stories, GIFs, and Snapchat stickers followed — designed to further engage and direct kids to sign up for free sporting events across the city to stay active.