The spot -- touting the iPod-linked Nike Plus sneaker -- contrasts a sluggish treadmill runner with sprinting spear-wielding cavemen, "Braveheart"-style warriors, Native American hunters and even big-city policemen chasing criminals.
"Need motivation?" it asks, before a group of urgent Nike Plus runners break through the window pane the treadmill slug had been plodding toward. "Run with Nike Plus" is the tagline.
Nike announced in April that it was moving its running-shoe account to Crispin from longtime agency Wieden & Kennedy, which continues to handle the bulk of the athletic-footwear-and-apparel behemoth's business.
Stunned ad world
The account move stunned the ad world, because Nike and Wieden have one of the highest-profile, longest-running and most-successful agency and client relationships in the business, as shown by the dominant position Nike holds in the running-shoe space and the fact that it grew its total footwear market share lead last year.
Nike has been reorganizing its business by sport segment in order to appeal to more serious athletes in each area, and the push behind Nike Plus is an attempt to reach hard-core runners who still tend to favor other brands such as New Balance and Asics.
The ads will begin to run tonight on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," but will also be featured throughout December on cable channels ranging from ESPN to MTV and ABC Family, as well as during National Football League games. The campaign also includes print and online executions.