Nike Air Max wins Cannes Grand Prix for Media

The campaign from Brazil-based AKQA São Paulo resulted in a 32 percent increase in sales for Nike.

Published On
Jun 24, 2019

Editor's Pick

Nike has scored another big Grand Prix win, this time in Media, for its “Air Max Graffiti Store” campaign—which found new ways to fuse tech with creative while also tapping into Brazil’s niche graffiti culture to boost sales.

For the campaign, Brazil’s AKQA São Paulo located popular spray-painted characters throughout the city and asked the original artists to then spray-paint a pair of Nike Air Max shoes onto the character’s feet. Nike then told its customers that they could snag the exclusive shoes through its app, but only if they visited the artist’s graffiti; a GPS signal from the user’s phone would confirm they were indeed at the right location.

In the end, Nike saw a 22 percent uptick in visits to its website, a 32 percent lift in Air Max sales and a reach north of 80 million on social media. What's more, all the shoes sold out. Yet, the real cherry on top for Nike is that the graffiti featuring its sneakers remains, perhaps hinting at the community’s acceptance of the brand, says Karen Blackett, jury president for the Media Lions; country manager, WPP UK; and chairwoman, MediaCom UK and Ireland.

"It was brilliant,” Blackett says. “This was an incredible example of where a brand was brave and tapped into something that was already part of the culture in the city. It [also] remained part of the fabric of the city.”

Blackett says the jurors looked at whether data was used responsibly and whether the creative created some sort of impact with technology, while also achieving brand goals on a global scale. She adds that many of the entries they received focused too much on local markets.

“The fact this was culturally relevant put Nike over the top,” Blackett says. “What we really loved about the activation was it combined both digital and physical. It was simple in the idea with its core target audience.”

Wieden+Kennedy São Paulo executed the media.


Jun 24, 2019
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