The commercial, created by Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide, focuses on images of outstretched hands, such as a sleepy man yawning before his morning exercise, a triumphant footballer who just made a goal and a kickboxing girl relaxing her bound knuckles, all suggesting that consumers wave goodbye to old inhibitions and set new challenges.
While sentimental, the images acutely leverage Chinese society's fear of failure and its emphasis on academic achievement, both of which dissuade mainland Chinese from playing sports, despite widespread interest there in spectator sports.
While tugging at the heartstrings of Chinese viewers, the commercial also signals that Li Ning is determined to cement its position as the largest sportswear brand in China, where it outstrips rivals Nike and Adidas, by investing in the same production values and marketing techniques as the foreign competitors. More and more, Chinese companies are prepared to battle rivals on quality and branding, not just price.
Leo Burnett Worldwide, Beijing
Ad Review Rating: 3.5 stars
Leo Burnett Worldwide has 97 full-service ad agencies in 84 countries