Nike's latest spot from Japan addresses a cultural issue from that country head on, encouraging people to test their limits and be ambitious, rather than "knowing their place." The phrase "Minohodoshirazu" -- which translates to "don't know your place," is typically used as an insult in Japan, meaning someone is overly ambitious. But here, Nike attempts to transform it into an empowering hashtag embodying the "Just Do It" mentality.
The campaign, by Wieden & Kennedy Tokyo, is set to children's voices speaking words from a traditional Japanese "morning meeting," with commands to be humble, not try to do things they can't and stay within their limits. It features four athletes embodying the "Minohodoshirazu" mindset -- Koharu Sugawara (dancer), Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (mid-long distance runner), Tomoya Ochiai (professional basketball player), and Ryotaro Ito (professional soccer player). Omri Cohen at Dictionary Films Tokyo directed the spot.
Out-of-home ads featuring these athletes are placed around the city, in Harajuku, Omotesando and Shibuya and the athletes' "Minohodoshirazu Stories," based on interviews, can be seen at Nike Japan's website.