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Nike reveals bold new ad (but there's a problem)

Nike has dropped a text-based ad encouraging people to stay indoors amid the spread of coronavirus. Using plain black text on a plain white background, the ad tells viewers: "If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world". The message looks stark, but the advice is pretty much in line with everyone else: stay indoors.

The ad (below) was posted to Nike's social media channels over the weekend. Bespoke versions were also shared by various Nike ambassadors including Cristiano Ronaldo and Tiger Woods. Most feature the celebrity's signature alongside Nike's famous swoosh (one of our best logos of all time). Michael Jordan's version, however, removes the swoosh entirely, replacing it with a basketball-playing silhouette. 

It's the kind of simple, clear copywriting Wieden + Kennedy are known for, and the message cleverly plays on the the potential aspirations of Nike's followers to give them an unusual message for a sports brand: play inside. On its own, the ad might not seem like a strong effort from the largest sportswear brand in the world – but fortunately, Nike is offering more than just words – accompanying the ad is a new offer for its training app. 

As well as pledging $15 million to coronavirus response efforts, Nike is giving customers free access to the premium features of its Nike Training Club (NTC) app, joining the ranks of other brands offering free services (from Adobe's two free months of Creative Cloud to Serif pledging to engage 100 creatives with paid work). This is potentially great news for anybody working from home – with gyms closed and commutes shortened from bedroom to living room, it's one way of helping people to stay healthy at home. There's just one problem – the subscription-based service is currently only available in the US. With Nike imploring us to "play for the world", it's a shame that these benefits are only available in one part of the world. 

Nike ad

The version of the ad posted to Michael Jordan's Twitter page (Image credit: Michael Jordan on Twitter)

"Optimism and courage are two of the characteristics that define the world of sport," Nike says in its announcement of the now-free features. "We continue to be inspired by the ways people make sport a daily habit, even in the most challenging of times." Hopefully we'll continue to see examples of brands offering support to those whose lives and routines have been upended by the current situation. 

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