2020 hasn't been a good year for sports, with countless events cancelled or postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Nike's latest ad is a tribute to perseverance in the face of adversity – and not only is it a timely dose of inspiration, but it's also a marvel of video editing.
Featuring a split screen, the 90-second ad, titled You Can't Stop Us, seamlessly combines over 70 sports clips. These are placed side-by-side to create the impression of a single shot (check out our best laptops for video editing and the best video editing software options if you're inspired to create a masterpiece of your own). The ad ends with the words: 'You can't stop sport,' with a handwritten 'us' quickly replacing the final word.
The team at Wieden + Kennedy (opens in new tab) combed through over 4,000 pieces of sports footage to create the 36 frames, which are designed to highlight how "sport unites us". From Serena Williams to Cristiano Ronaldo, the ad features footage of various sports personalities in action, with the brilliant editing highlighting the parallels between many sports (one particularly ingenious moment sees footage of a discus thrower merge seamlessly with that of a ballerina).
Narrated by American footballer Megan Rapinoe, the ad covers various themes including diversity, the coronavirus pandemic (workers in hazmat suits are seen spraying down empty stadium seats), and the Black Lives Matter movement. "We know things won't always go our way," Rapinoe announces. "But whatever it is, we'll find a way. And when things aren't fair, we'll come together for change." Here's how the creative community has come together in support of Black Lives Matter.
The ad has already proved a huge hit online, with almost 40 million views on YouTube in just four days. Users have taken to Twitter (below) to heap praise on the video, with many blown away by the editing.
Nothing can stop what we can do together. You can’t stop sport. Because #YouCantStopUs.Join Us | https://t.co/fQUWzDVH3q pic.twitter.com/YAig7FIL6GJuly 30, 2020
I kneel before the folks who put this together for @nike pic.twitter.com/1PC7PULKXSJuly 30, 2020
Some ads are simply art. This thing will win awards. The editing this thing took is unreal. Well done @Nike. https://t.co/Dqngc5rSfTJuly 31, 2020
The amount of footage they had to comb through for matching, other than any shots they setup, must have been astounding. A feat in itself. Such an amazing edit.July 31, 2020
If the immediate response is anything to go by, Nike's latest could well go down as one of the greatest sports ads ever. 2020 has been a trying time for most, with many of us now adjusting to the 'new normal' of life after lockdown (here's where to buy a face mask if you're not already covered). Nike's ad isn't just an incredible example of technical wizardry, but it's a welcome message of hope in difficult times.