What Exactly Is This New Jordan Ad Saying?

Conversation-Sparking Spot Shows Russell Westbrook Creating His Own 'Runway'

Published On
Aug 26, 2016

Editor's Pick

Last week on social media and during last night's MTV VMA's broadcast, Nike's Jordan Brand and Wieden & Kennedy New York debuted this simple but powerful new Air Jordan ad starring the Oklahoma Thunder's Russell Westbrook. The ad captures Westbrook making a tremendous lay-up on an unusual court -- an airplane runway. As we hear the sounds of a jet plane in the background and see his legs mid-air against a deep blue sky, a voice-over reads, "Some run. Some make runways."

Since it debuted last week, the spot has gotten b-ball critics talking, some surmising it to be a pointed jab at Westbrook's former teammate, Kevin Durant, who announced a couple months ago that he was leaving the Thunder to join NBA Western Conference champs the Golden State Warriors. But others asked, would a Nike-owned company be critical of Durant, one of its own athletes?

Whatever the case, Mr. Westbrook has a big new job at hand, and Jordan Brand is hoping its new pair of kicks will help elevate his game.

While media has been buzzing about the ad's true meaning, agency W&K New York says it pays homage to the original 1985 spot introducing the first Air Jordans and even incorporates the same jet engine audio from that ad.

The campaign also featured a series of Snapchat videos from DJ Khaled that included the curious Jordan XXXI "hoverbox." For that, Jordan and W&K teamed with levitations specialists Crealev to create four anti-gravity boxes that levitate using magnetic technology. The boxes will also appear at Jordan Brand's Terminal 23 space in New York, as well as in flagship stores in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Toronto.

The campaign also included a tie-up with the MTV VMAs, in which viewers saw the Moonman rising to space a la "Jumpman" and leaving an XXXI "Banned" footprint on the moon.

Previously, Wieden & Kennedy, N.Y. resurrected Chiat/Day's classic "Banned" Jordan ad ahead of the XXXI release.


Aug 26, 2016
Brand :
Jordan Brand
Client :
Jordan Brand
Agency :
Wieden & Kennedy - New York
Executive Creative Director :
Karl Leiberman
Creative Director :
Caleb Jensen
Creative Director :
Jimm Lasser
Art Director :
Blair Warren
Copywriter :
Pepe Hernandez
Senior Producer :
Orlee Tatarka
Head of Content Production :
Nick Setounski
Account Team :
Jordan Muse
Account Team :
Liz Lindberg
Account Team :
Jacque Parrish
Art Producer :
Ali Berk
Head of Art :
Deb Rosen
Social Director :
Jessica Abercrombie
Media Team :
Karlo Cordova
Media Team :
Branden Bouvia
Media Team :
Chad Muratev
Project Manager :
Kristen Daly
Business Affairs :
Sara Jagielski
Business Affairs :
Tana Prosper
Business Affairs :
Lindsey Timko
Broadcast Traffic Manager :
Sonia Bisono
Traffic Coordinator :
Andy Hume
Client :
Desmond Marzette
Production Company :
Good Company
Director :
Dikayl Rimmasch
Executive Producer :
Jonathan Lia
Director, Photography :
Santiago Gonzalez
Line Producer :
Jay Wada
Editorial Company :
Lost Planet
Editor :
Hank Corwin
Assistant Editor :
Kenji Yamauchi
Post Executive Producer :
Krystn Wagenberg
Visual Effects Company :
Good Company
Visual Effects Executive Producer :
Ralph Maccio
Visual Effects/Lead Flame Artist :
John Mattiuzzi
Visual Effects/Lead Flame Artist :
Shuyi Wu
Visual Effects/Lead Flame Artist :
Christian Haberkern
Mix :
Bisby Studios
Mix :
Harbor Sound
Sound/Mix :
Chris Jenkins
Mix :
Adam Barber
Mix :
Josh Berger
Mix :
Grant Elder
Sound Designer :
Robby Stambler
Sound Designer :
Cameron Frankley
Producer :
Darrell Smith
Telecine Company :
Company 3
Colorist :
Tom Poole
Color Producer :
Clare Movshon
Executive Producer :
Ryan Heiferman
Post Producer :
Ralph Miccio
Producer :
Brian Welsh

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