Nike’s Write the Future ad from W+K Amsterdam wins Cannes Film Grand Prix – what a terrible decision

There isn’t anything wrong with the ad (apart from the emphasis on British footballer Wayne Rooney who has so far failed to set the World Cup alight) but it’s exactly what you’d expect from Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam for Nike’s regular World Cup ambush campaign (deadly rival Adidas is a tier one World Cup sponsor).

But to award the 2011 Cannes International Festival of Creativity Film Grand Prix (still far and away the most important award at the festival) to this hymn to football is just plain daft.

It’s a nice football film with a Wayne Rooney sub-plot (as we said, not the wisest choice) and beautifully executed.

But, come on, if you couldn’t make a good ad with this brief it would be time to consider another career.

W+K Portland’s ‘born of fire’ ad for Chrysler with Eminem (a Gold Lion winner) would have been my choice, but I can see why some people find it just too emotional in that (sometimes overbearing) American way, just as lots of good music judges (not me) don’t like Bruce Springsteen for the same reasons.

But it makes an an important message brilliantly, not just about the car but about trying to revive the good old motor city. It might just move minds.

So there we are, not a vintage year I’d say.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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