As a trainer geek and Nike fan I am a sucker for Nike promos.
#makeitcount is the new campaign for 2012, aiming to inspire people to get out and make the most of life. The product behind it is the fuelband, a wristband that helps you track your physical activity from running to playing the drums and everything in between.
The online video for the campaign follows an ad maker who instead of making the prearranged video, takes Nikes money and runs, spending it on a 10 day world trip instead. Its a thrilling 4 minutes, covering 34,000 miles, three continents and 13 countries.
Its a risky business setting something like this up. Online viewers are keen to sniff out a fake or phony video, and social media can turn a campaign on its head if people can see the strings or don’t trust it.
The success of the strategy on this one is indisputable. Its racked up nearly 6 million hits on youtube, and nearly 30000 likes. Beyond the fact that there’s great fun in the concept, I think the secret of its success is the person Nike picked to make the film.
Casey Neistat became famous online back in 2003 with a video about Apples ipod battery life that he made with his brother Van. More online hits campaigning about bike theft and cycle lanes in New York confirmed Casey and Van as youtube stars. In 2008, a deal with HBO for a hand made TV series chronicling their daily escapades showed how online fame can cross over to the mainstream.
As well as the immediate and easy rapport with the viewer, this mix of campaigning integrity and knowledge of what will gain traction online makes Casey a great choice.
Credibility is essential when you want viewers to go on a ride with you, literally and metaphorically, especially with campaigns that aim to reach out so directly into people’s lives. If you want that kind of engagement, you really need to be accountable. Turning a big commercial message into a personal story is a compelling way to do it.
Check out Caseys other work at http://caseyneistat.com/