Best of 2019: Nike and Serena Williams dream 'crazier' in powerful Oscars spot

Athlete narrates the brand's female-focused message

Published On
Feb 25, 2019

Editor's Pick


On Creativity through Jan. 1, we’ll be revisiting some of the brand ideas and campaigns that made 2019—and the last decade. Check back on in the new year for the full lists.

Best of 2019

Where do you go after “Dream Crazy”-size success? Nike simply dreamed “Crazier” in this Oscars spot starring Serena Williams that directly addressed the hurdles female athletes face in a male-dominated world. As they break barriers, along with the cheers they still confront insults, being called “unhinged” or “crazy” when they succeed or take a stand. “If they want to call you crazy? Fine. Show them what crazy can do,” Williams says. 

Original Story

Nike is using the Academy Awards Sunday to push a new female-focused "Just Do It" spot. The 90-second video is the latest iteration of the sportswear giant's "Dream Crazy" campaign, which was first unveiled by Colin Kaepernick last fall in honor of the 30th anniversary of the "Just Do It" tagline.

The new spot, narrated by Serena Williams, is called "Dream Crazier." Nike blasted the message to its NikePlus members via email on Sunday afternoon, with the spot scheduled to run during the Oscars that evening. In the clip, Williams speaks about the head-shaking dismissiveness female athletes regularly endure—many of those who have broken barriers in sports have been called "crazy."

"If we show emotion, we're called dramatic. If we want to play against men, we're nuts," she says, noting other words such as "delusional," "unhinged," "hysterical," and "irrational." Williams concludes the commercial with, "So if they want to call you crazy, fine. Show them what crazy can do." Text then appears on the screen, "It's only crazy until you do it. Just do it."

In Sunday's afternoon email message, titled "A Message From Serena Williams," Williams invited consumers to join her in pushing "crazy dreams" further and suggested they tune in to the Oscars to see the new spot.

Nike's "Dream Crazier" comes on the heels of a crazy-for-different-reasons headline for the marketer's basketball business last week. In a high-profile game, Zion Williamson, a Duke University freshman and one of college basketball's biggest stars, fell on the court after his Nike shoe fell apart in a widely-viewed incident. In a statement, Nike said it was an "isolated incident" and that the brand was "working to identify the issue." The company commands a sizeable share of the basketball market.