W+K’s sure touch with Londoners takes footballer Raheem Sterling back to Brent

“When you’re a naughty kid from Brent you do things you’re not supposed to do” says England football star Raheem Sterling in this winning new Nike ad from Wieden+Kennedy. Like being capped for England at 17 but also fending off a tide of criticism over the years, some of it racist.

Brent is a huge, mostly unlovely it has to be said, borough in London. You won’t find Russian oligarchs or Bernie Ecclestone’s absurdly wealthy offspring in Brent (although it does boast Ken Livingstone.) There’s a local community initiative too.

As with its its lauded ‘Londoner’ commercial, W+K shows a sure touch here. It may have profited mightily from Nike over the decades but has paid it back by consistently painting a human face on the controversial sports goods firm.

MAA creative scale: 8.

PS Racism is a besetting issue in Italian football and the authorities have, belatedly, launched an anti-racism campaign. Featuring chimps. Um, no.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.