New Nike spot encourages ‘giving it a shot, even though your shot is garbage’
After a year in which many people sat on the couch and binge-watched TV instead of pursuing athletic endeavors, it’s doubtful that the majority of Americans are currently at their physical peak. Nike is ready for them, though, with a new campaign that celebrates the joy in the act of trying rather than of only succeeding.
The 60-second spot, “Play New,” shows well-known athletes trying out sports for which they are not known. Basketball star Sabrina Ionescu attempts to play tennis, while sprinter Dina Asher-Smith takes a swing at golf. The video also shows singer/songwriter Rosalía taking a stab at archery. (Spoiler alert: she doesn’t hit the bullseye.)
“Here’s to going for it … and being terrible. Here’s to giving it a shot, even though your shot is garbage,” a voiceover says. After showing the athletes enjoying themselves, the voiceover concludes, “You know what doesn’t suck? Trying to do something you’ve never done before.”
“The reason we are encouraging people to ‘Play New,’ is to celebrate that notion of getting back to the joy of discovering and trying something for the first time—the joy of letting loose a little bit,” said Melanie Auguste, Nike’s VP of global brand marketing, in a statement.
Nike worked with Wieden+Kennedy on the film. While the spot does not end with the sportswear giant’s regular “Just Do It” tagline, a spokeswoman said the tagline continues to be the essence of the brand. Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Sport” spots released last year also excluded “Just Do It.”
Along with the anthem spot, Nike will release stories featuring Nike athletes talking about sports. Nike worked with R/GA on the series. The brand is also introducing augmented reality Snapchat lenses where consumers can try new sports virtually, along with a TikTok series of creators trying new things.