The "banned" ad. Mars Blackmon. "Hare Jordan." Nike’s marketing around Jordan Brand has led to many a mainstream pop culture moment, but a new campaign takes it to a fresh, surreal place.
“Love, Paris” is a four-spot series of basketball portraits promoting the Jordan Brand's collaboration with France’s Paris Saint-Germain soccer club and celebrating Parisian basketball culture, according to the sneaker brand. They star Jordan Brand ambassadors Elias Konaté Dazi and Laura Kechichian in scenarios that bring a taste of magical realism to the product line. In “DNP” (above), an injured Dazi watches a group of basketball players storm into his room while he recovers.
In another film, "Chausettes," Kechichian’s socks run away from her before her workout.
Another film, "Intervalle," captures her 16-story free throw.
“C'est Les Chaussures" tells the story of a boy in stilts struggling during a basketball game while onlookers laugh and cringe.
The films were created out of agency Frosty, with production via Smuggler. They were directed by Rubberband (aka Jason Sondock and Simon Davis), recent Ad Age Creativity Awards finalists who are known for their artful work for brands including Instagram, Calvin Klein, Zara and more.
The brief on the project was "essentially about a journey through Paris," said Rubberband's Sondock. "We decided to take the journey relatively metaphorically."
The pair interviewed both Dazi and Kechichian about their experiences "playing and not playing basketball and living in the north of Paris," and then decided to write the spots as mini screenplays of films.
The brand and agency gave the pair plenty of freedom and were "one of the best and most trusting creative teams we’ve ever worked with," Sondock said. "They let us be filmmakers; we’ll always be grateful for that."
Ultimately, the project turned out to be "one of the more proud pieces we did that felt like real filmmaking and not so much like ads."
Jordan Brand first teamed up with Paris Saint-Germain soccer club in 2018, and the campaign arrives with the launch of the fourth PSG x Jordan collection, which includes PSG-themed apparel and gear including jerseys and gym sacks. Jordan x PSG also released the Air Jordan 5 Low and matching Jordan Two Trey sneakers both, sporting France’s national colors and text reading “Ici C’est Paris,” PSG’s signature slogan.
Campaign content was shared on Twitter by both the Jordan Brand and PSG’S media teams.