Nike’s ‘Londoner’ is one of the ads of 2018 – and Nike deserves to be top advertiser too

Nike’s ‘Nothing beats a Londoner’ from Wieden+Kennedy is one of those rare ads that gets better the more you see it; it is, indeed, a compelling summary of what London is like for Londoners in many of its aspects. There’s even a decent Peckham joke.

Emma Hall says: “I still get a kick out of watching it – love the exuberance and creativity and hint of anarchy about it.”

And Nike, a company part-built on outstanding advertising, seems to have rediscovered its mojo in 2018. Nike ads are rarely bad but there’s been nothing for a while with quite such fizz and vim.

In the US it rattled lots of cages with its Colin Kaepernick ad, featuring an NFL footballer cast out into the cold for protesting at a match against wider police violence against black people.

Nike kept Kaepernick on its books and risked the ire of Donald Trump among many others with this. Not the first time that Nike has taken a stand.

They say a principle isn’t a principle until it costs you something. In this case Nike seems to have profited mightily from its stand but it was undeniably risking a lot.

So it’s also our 2018 Advertiser of the Year.

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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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