A Reminder That Nike Ads Once Meant Something

Michael Jordan Shames LeBron James in Ad Mashup

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Making the rounds on YouTube today is the latest video responding to the greatest existential question of 2010: What should LeBron James do? One of our favorite responses is on behalf of the fine citizens of Ohio who have plenty to say to the tune of 3,761,455 views on YouTube and counting. Even "South Park" got into the act, and the comparison is simply scathing. (Here's a recap of the fuss and subsequent discussion.)

The query that's garnered such a reaction was delivered last month by Mr. James in a Wieden & Kennedy-produced commercial, "Rise," on behalf of superstar endorser Nike. That video has racked up 4,136,514 views and counting. The latest response is a mashup (we don't know the brains behind it) of the current spot and an older Nike ad for its Jumpman line that stars Michael Jordan. You can view the mashup and the original ad below. What makes this new response video so poignant is it reminds us that once upon a time, Nike -- along with its airborne athletes and longtime ad agency -- aspired to greatness and, as such, encouraged us lowly, stuck-to-the-ground mortals to "just do it."

As we've said recently, Nike should not be in the business of celebrity rehab. Its best ads remind us that what we should all do is simply hit the damn gym.

"Michael Jordan on LeBron James"

"Maybe It's My Fault

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